- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Banks Channel Books (March 3, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1889199125
- ISBN-13: 978-1889199122
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,717,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Riggs Park Paperback – March 3, 2008
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This story of friends who've known each other for years, but find there's much still to be discovered, is emotional and poignant. . . . Barbara is a strong, complicated woman whose viewpoint draws the reader deeply into the lives of these women and their families. --Romantic Times Book Reviews
It had been rumored that Marilyn and Barbara's troubled friend Penny had had a baby as a teenager, but neither girl knew for sure. Now, incapacitated by cancer, Marilyn wants some answers. But when Barbara agrees to do some sleuthing, the shocking truth is nothing either had expected. Exceptionally well-handled flashbacks help readers follow this complex story, which takes more than one incredible turn. This insightful book will resonate with readers who grew up in the Fifties. --Library Journal
Delightful . . . an intriguing plot with a terrific final twist. --The Readers Guild
About the Author
Ellyn Bache is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including the novel, Safe Passage, that was made into a film starring Susan Sarandon, and a short story collection, The Value of Kindness, that won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize.
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Marilyn shocks Barbara when she mentions she will undergo a facelift prior to the experimental cancer treatment. Even more stunning is the secret that Penny had a child before vanishing; the father is either Marilyn's famous singing brother Steve or an unknown she apparently met on the "Bus Ride to see Steve. Reluctantly Barbara agrees to search for clues that would lead to Penny's offspring. As she begins her quest in the old neighborhood she realizes you can never go home, but continues her elusive venture.
This fine middle age amateur sleuth character study is a well written buddy tale with a cast that makes the ensemble cast especially the lead female friends seem real. The friendship between Marilyn and Barbara serves as the key foundation to an intriguing plot. Barbara's inquires begin somewhat late in the novel as she is not convinced she should follow the clues until she realizes her beloved buddy needs to know the truth. With a terrific final twist to the delightful RIGGS PARK, readers will look forward to what comes next from Ellyn Bache.
September 26, 2007
Amazon Rating: 4/5 stars
I have really enjoyed these books published by Harlequin under the NEXT line of books, what used to be unique stories about women of all ages and all walks of life. In RIGGS PARK, the book centers on a group of friends who grew up in an area of Washington, DC called Riggs Park. Events in their past have separated them, but now Barbara Cohen is summoned by one of these friends to come back home.
When Marilyn calls up Barbara without telling her the real reason for the summons, Barbara isn't sure what to think. Barbara is currently living with Jon, the love of her life, but is at a point where she isn't sure if her life is headed in the right direction. When she finally meets up with Marilyn, she learns two things: 1)Marilyn has been diagnosed again with cancer; and 2) there is some news regarding their childhood friend Penny, a girl that had a very difficult time growing up.
The story is involved and detailed, and takes the reader to the past when Barbara, Marilyn, and Penny were growing up during the 50's and 60's. Penny was the odd girl out, but the three of them somehow always ended up together. Other friends wove in and out of their lives including Marilyn's brother Steve, who ended up becoming a famous rock star, and whose first big hit song was based on Penny.
While Barbara is visiting Riggs Park, she meets up with Marilyn but is told to talk to Essie Berman (a woman who she thought had either disappeared or passed away years ago) who has secrets about Penny. Barbara eventually finds out what the secret is, and it shatters everything she had believed in all these years since they had lost contact with Penny.
I found this story to be very engaging (although I didn't buy into the fact that Steve was a world famous rock star) and couldn't wait to find out what the big secret was that Essie Berman had been keeping all these years. It was a "wow" moment for sure, and the story about the friends and how their lives related to one another was also very entertaining. I am sorry to hear that the NEXT books will no longer be publishing stories such as this, stories that are "outside the box" and not the typical Harlequin romance. I have nothing against romances, but I will always appreciate stories that don't fit a certain type of genre, with story lines that are unique and unencumbered by formulaic styles of writing.
Ellyn has captured the emotions and feelings that women, who are truly friends, develop over the years of their history together. This book will be my choice for my book club, Women of Words,when it is my turn to make the selection.
The story shows that sometimes what we remember from childhood is very different from what actually went on.
The flashbacks were a bit confusing at times, but I was able to keep up.
Look forward to more books by this author.
What started out seeming to be a simple tale of two old friends facing their immortality and revisiting their pasts, regrets and all, turned into a tale of friendship, betrayal, love and a mystery with surprising twists and turns.
I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys mainstream women's fiction by Elizabeth Berg, Elaine Kagan, Eileen Goudge, et.al.