From Publishers Weekly
Jessie Ryder, the heroine of this latest novel from romance veteran Wiggs (Halfway to Heaven), returns to her Texas hometown after 16 years to visit Lila, the daughter she gave up for adoption to her older sister, Luz. Her eyesight is deteriorating rapidly from a rare disease, and soon she will no longer be able to continue her successful work as a photojournalist. She now wants to tell Lila the truth about her parentage, but Luz balks at the idea. Luz has chosen a starkly different lifestyle, making a home for her husband Ian, three boys and Lila, who's now a rebellious, out-of-control teenager. Both sisters are envious of the other's choices, and free-spirited Jessie's sudden arrival turns Luz's world-not as stable as it seems on the surface-upside down. As long-buried family secrets come to the surface, Luz and Ian's marriage threatens to unravel. Meanwhile, Jessie's wanderlust is held in check when she falls in love with Dusty Matlock, a local widowed pilot with a two-year-old. The novel sets up provocative family tensions, but these are resolved too easily. Wiggs's tendency to overwrite ("a wave of devastating love and protectiveness rolled over him with crushing strength") and lackluster humor ("Jeez, you're turning into a drama queen," Lila says to Jessie, who quips, "I've been wanting a change of careers") may further disappoint readers. Some of the scenes are finely drawn, however, especially those set at Beacon for the Blind, a facility for training those without eyesight to live independently.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In this fairly typical romance novel, we meet free-spirited Jessie Ryder, a beautiful, independent, strong-willed woman who has traveled the world working as a photojournalist and living life on her own terms. This beautiful firebrand has a tormented secret, however, and it has haunted her for the past 16 years: she gave her baby daughter, Lila, away. Now faced with a devastating illness that is causing her to lose her eyesight, she follows her doctor's advice to see the most important people in her life before her eyesight fades for good. As a result, she soon attempts a reconciliation with Lila and her adoptive mother, Jessie's sister Luz. Returning to her Texas hometown, she decides she wants to tell Lila, who has grown up under the assumption that Jessie is her aunt, the truth. This confession soon jeopardizes the solid marriage of Luz and her husband (who happens to be the child's biological father) as well as the relationship between Luz and Jessie. In addition, Jessie becomes involved in a complicated tango with a young father who has just lost his wife. Everything is neatly resolved by the story's end. Heavy publicity will result in high library demand. Kathleen HughesCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved