Friday, July 18, 2008

Domestic Affairs-Eileen Goudge

Domestic Affairs
Eileen Goudge
Vanguard, Aug 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9781593154752

In 1982 Greenhaven, Georgia, Abigail and Lila were best friends although the former’s mother worked as a housekeeper to the latter’s affluent family. Abigail also was attracted to Lila’s twin brother Vaughn. However, Lila’s mom accuses Abigail’s mother of stealing, fired her, and tossed mother and daughter into the street.

In present day New York, Abigail runs a successful catering business and is a TV show guest due to a popular cook book she wrote; while she and her husband Kent raise their child Phoebe. However, lately Abigail has been unhappy as Kent ignores her and Phoebe seems frighteningly withdrawn. In that environs Lila arrives impoverished from a factory fire and despondent from her husband’s suicide. She begs for a job for the sake of her son. Abigail hires her frantic former friend as the family housekeeper. However, what has split them for over two decades remains especially with the insult of the job as a reminder of reverse fortunes; but soon current painful issues such as Vaughn reappearing will surface to complicate any chance of reconciliation between the once two best friends.

DOMESTIC AFFAIR is an engaging contemporary tale that focuses on friendship and betrayal. The story line is character driven obviously first by the two lead females, but also enhanced by their extended family members. Although at times the plot veers into soap opera turf, readers will enjoy this fine modern day drama wondering what will happen to each key cast member as the underlying rapport and discord of relationships change.

Harriet Klausner

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