Friday, November 28, 2008

Simple Wishes-Lisa Dale

Simple Wishes
Lisa Dale
Forever, Jan 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 0446406899

With her failure at making it in New York followed by her mom Marge’s death, Adele Martin quits her job as an art gallery manager and leaves Brooklyn to return to the Pennsylvania mountain cottage she grew up in to consider what next. Adele and her mom had a falling out over the former leaving for the big city and now she feels guilty over their estrangement although she knows part of the problems was her mom’s secret past. Aunt Christine comes by to see her niece for the first time in years and weekend warriors the Lopresti family invites her to Korean fare.

Adele meets her next door neighbor, the only year round resident, artist “Hermit Jay” Westvelt. They are attracted to one another, but have differing opinions about Marge. As they fall in love, she begins to learn the deepest secrets about her unknown father, her mother and her aunt that make her want to flee the Pocono’s for Brooklyn and the restraining order she left behind. Jay hopes to persuade her that mountain life is good when filled with love and besides the big city of Scranton is nearby.

More a deep family drama with a romantic subplot, SIMPLE WISHES is an interesting character study of a woman who begins to learn what love is and is not after meeting Jay, Skipper the dog, her aunt and the Lopresti family. Before them love was conditional with controlling strings and IOUs; after them she begins to realize love can be unconditional just there. Although the story line lacks action with the focus on the characters’ emotions, fascinatingly, the Lopresti teen granddaughter is her prime teacher, as Adele sees history repeat the same errors she made, but will she understand in time to save her relationship with Jay starting with her real given first name.

Harriet Klausner

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