Perennial favorite Debbie Macomber does what she does best in 16 Lighthouse Road
, introducing fans to the scenic Pacific Northwest town of Cedar Cove, Washington, and its panoply of characters, including family court judge Olivia Lockhart who makes news when she denies the divorce petition of Cecilia and Ian Randall. Decreeing that the young couple had not tried hard enough to make their relationship work following the tragic death of their newborn daughter, Olivia's decision brings her to the attention of recent Cedar Cove arrival, newspaper editor Jack Griffin. And Jack's attentions are not entirely unwelcome for the long-divorced Olivia. In addition to her continued involvement in Cecilia and Ian's ongoing negotiations, Olivia's life is further complicated by her mother, Charlotte, her daughter, Justine, and her best friend, Grace, as they struggle with the difficult situations life tosses their way. Charlotte becomes enmeshed in trying to solve a mystery left to her by a mute stroke victim she befriends just before he dies. Justine has found the perfect man for her, one who shares her ambitions and thoughts on relationships, but why does she keep thinking about the boy she knew in high school who has grown into quite a man? And Grace's husband, Dan, has disappeared--again--and Grace has no idea where he is and when or if he'll be back. The multiple story lines and numerous relationships make reading at times challenging, but Macomber fans, old and new, will stand up and cheer as the prolific author lodges her protest against the disposable personal relationships all too common today. --Alison Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
As a family court judge, Olivia Lockhart has dealt with numerous divorce suits but none as peculiar as Cecilia and Ian Randall's. Before the young couple was married the year before, Cecilia and Ian signed a prenuptial agreement stating their marriage would last a lifetime, but now, after the tragic death of their infant daughter, the two wish to rescind the agreement. Sensing that Cecilia and Ian are still in love, Olivia lets her heart guide her decision, and denies their petition. Olivia's decision makes headlines in The Cedar Cove Chronicle and earns her the admiration of the paper's editor, Jack Griffin, a newcomer to the small Washington town. While Jack courts Olivia, and Ian and Cecilia try to repair their marriage, Olivia's daughter is forced to decide whether she should marry a man whom she doesn't love; Olivia's best friend grows frantic over the disappearance of her husband; and Olivia's mother befriends a stroke patient who harbors a secret he would share if he could speak. Despite the novel's fragmented structure, readers will warm to its endearing characters. Prolific Macomber (Thursdays at Eight, etc.) is known for her honest portrayals of ordinary women in small-town America, and this tale cements her position as an icon of the genre. (Sept.)Forecast: A national print advertising campaign and a Northwest author tour scheduled to coincide with the publication of Macomber's latest offering will boost sales, and a rosy real-estate cover will increase the book's appeal to its target readership.
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