Dutton, Jun 2008, $24.95
In Watertown, Massachusetts, cancer survivor Betty Mueller regrets what she did two decades ago that cost her beloved daughter the love of her life. She serendipitously destroyed Julie’s relationship with older Michael Slayton because she felt her daughter was too young and he too wild. Now twenty years later, she realizes Michael was Julie’s one.
She wants to make amends before she dies as she would love one last a glimpse of the happier carefree teen that her machinations changed into a workaholic divorced single mom. However, Betty knows Julie, a Boston TV reporter, refuses to speak to Michael so her goal seems impossible, but this time mother knows best (at least she prays she does). Betty cons Julie into attending famous French chef Renée D’Ours dessert class at the Famous Boston Cooking School; recently divorced Michael is attending too.
On the surface this may seem like a typical second chance at love, but Sarah Strohmeyer refreshes the theme with plenty of humor, just desserts, and Shakespeare especially the sonnets. Betty is terrific as she understands the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Michael and Julie are classic star-crossed lovers, but there is no real Shakespearean villain, only a caring dying mom.