From Publishers Weekly
Skillfully pinpointing the circumstances that tempt Hannah Marsh into an affair with her childhood friend's husband, Kelly (How Close We Come) showcases her perceptive understanding of the delicate fabric of human relationships. Hannah and her husband, Hal, have recently moved to the small town of Rural Ridge, N. C., to give their two children a taste of country life. Hal has taken a teaching position at a private school and Hannah is looking forward to concentrating on her gardening; their marriage is settled and comfortable. Imagine Hannah's surprise when she meets Peter Whicker, an attractive man who turns out not only to be the town's newest member of the clergy, but also the spouse of her childhood best friend and current nemesis, Daintry O'Connor. As Hannah looks into her past, reflecting on her friendship with Daintry, Kelly adroitly moves the narrative forward, sizing each woman up against her younger self. The fascinating transformation of Daintry from a youthful, bold instigator and confidant to a sophisticated charmer with scathing wit and a sarcastic bent underscores the complexity of their friendship. As the attraction between Peter and Hannah blossoms, it becomes plain that the enviable qualities of a long-standing marriage reliability, comfort, mutual understanding and trust may undermine it as well. In determining the course of her future, Hannah is forced to examine her past with Daintry and the impact their long and complicated relationship continues to have on her life. By examining the push/pull of friendship and the intricacies of family, this rather simple tale acquires additional layers of meaning and relevance.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Kelly's wistful tale revolves around the fact that friendships formed in childhood, that impressionable time, although not destined to last a lifetime, remain among the most influential of our lives. They have the power to shape our self-perception, and they become the bellwether for all future relationships. As children, Hannah and Daintry pledged to be "BFF," "Best Friends Forever," yet they drift apart as young adults. Years later, their reunion is less joyful than Hannah would have predicted, and she is dismayed to discover that the girl who was once her closest companion has become a woman who no longer shares her idealistic view of their youth. As each woman recalls significant past events from diametrically opposed perspectives, Hannah's fragile self-esteem erodes, threatening to jeopardize her family. Hurt and confused, she finds solace in a surprising new friendship with Peter, the parish minister, who also happens to be Daintry's husband. Although Hannah's motives may be ulterior, and Peter's secular, their affinity helps Hannah redefine her illusory childhood friendship and reexamine present relationships. Carol HaggasCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved