Matters of the Heart
Delacorte, Jun 2 2009, $27.00
Ever since MOMA showed an exhibit of her photography when she was thirty-eight, Hope Dunne has become famous. She was recently in India and Tibet, but now is back in her Manhattan Soho loft just before Christmas. Hope enjoys her lifestyle though at times misses the intimacy she once had when she was married for over two decades to sexagenarian Paul who suffers from Parkinson’s disease; but Hope especially misses her late daughter. She captures that combination of serenity and passion though a camera lens.
Her agent Mark Webber asks if she would like to do a shoot of popular Irish-American author Finn O’Neill; she agrees. She meets her assistant on the job Fiona Casey and they travel to Ireland together. Hope finds the bodacious warm Finn a delightfully charming opposite of her quiet manner. He seems attracted to her and overtly displays his feelings as he tries to sweep her off her feet. At his remote estate, she falls in love only to begin to unravel his tale of omissions and lies, but mostly it is his jealous rage when there is no remote reason bothers her. She realizes she is acting schizoid as her heart tells her to trust Finn, but her brain tells her to flee back to Manhattan before it is too late. She wonders if he is an overly concerned somewhat possessive lover, a sociopath, or worse.
This is a typical Danielle Steele contemporary character driven thriller that fans of the author will devour once Finn enters the picture as the audience will wonder if he is a villain or hero; if he is a hero than Hope is paranoid. The story line is filled with angst, perhaps too much as everyone carries tons of baggage even secondary players like Robert. Yet readers will relish Hope’s dilemmas she believes she has found love but fears she has found obsessive love; either way she understands it is MATTERS OF THE HEART dictating to the mind how to feel and act.