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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber

A Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (336 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

In the middle of the year, in the middle of her life, Bethanne Hamlin takes a road trip with her daughter, Annie, and her former mother-in-law, Ruth.

They're driving to Florida for Ruth's 50th high-school reunion. A longtime widow, Ruth would like to reconnect with Royce, the love of her teenage life. She's heard he's alone, too…and, well, she's curious. Maybe even hopeful.

Bethanne herself needs time to reflect, to ponder a decision she has to make. Her ex-husband, Grant—her children's father—wants to reconcile now that his second marriage has failed. Bethanne's considering it….

Meanwhile, Annie's out to prove to her onetime boyfriend that she can live a brilliant life without him!

So there they are, three women driving across America. They have their maps and their directions—but even the best-planned journey can take you to a turn in the road. Or lead you to an unexpected encounter—like the day Bethanne meets a man named Max who really is a hero on a Harley. That's when Bethanne's decision becomes a lot harder. Because Grant wants her back, but now there's Max….

From Seattle's Blossom Street to the other end of the country, this is a trip that could change three women's lives.

Answers. Bethann needs answers. She’s a creative, decisive, successful business woman, but making a decision about a possible reconciliation with Grant, her contrite ex-husband has her flummoxed. Her daughter Annie and her ex-mother-in-law Ruth are lobbying hard for the reconciliation. Her son Andrew, who never quite forgave his father for leaving them six years ago, is not so gung-ho for it, but says it is up to her.

Hoping to reach a clear decision while making a trip with Ruth and Annie from Seattle to Florida, Bethann goes with the flow as Ruth and Annie adjust and readjust the original route they would travel. As Ruth reconnects with friends of long ago and Annie licks her emotions wounds from a romance that took a wrong turn, Bethann wrestles with her dilemma. Although she and Grant have a twenty-year marriage history, she had recreated herself in the last six years. She is no longer that person who would be content to just be an adjunct to Grant.

To add fuel to her quandary, a biker (can you imagine!) with sad, knowing eyes that flash with desire sends her body into overdrive, her heart racing, and her mind questioning her sanity and many other things. Life gets complicated for Bethann.

Grant knows he erred big time when he divorced Bethann. Now he, with the help of Annie, is working hard to get her back after six years. She had complemented him during all their years together, helping him become very successful. He needs her and wants her back like it used to be.

Max, the biker, and his friend Rooster ride with Willie and Skunk part of the time, But, at times, Max rides alone when Rooster goes back to tend to his advertising business. Max has not come to terms with the death of his daughter and wife. For three years he has drifted leaving his business in the hands of his brother.

When he sees Bethann, he realizes he can FEEL again, breath without pain, and face the future. He “gets right” with God after she told him about her situation and how she finally realized that she had to unclench her fists of anger to fill her hands with happiness, joy, and love. Max’s good deeds, sense of fair play, and amazing forbearance add depth to this man who deals so gently with Bethann.

The unique connection between Max and Bethann touches deep emotions. They both have lost what they most treasured. They recognize each other’s grief, a grief that eases as they share with each other in a way that transcends the physical.

Ruth’s hopes and fears about seeing her high school sweetheart and first love is a heartwarming part of A Turn in the Road. It has so many delightful revelations. While Ruth seeks an old love, Annie, so angry with her ‘old’ love, enjoys meeting and having fun with new guys as the three women make their way to Florida. The way each of these three women evolves to a new stage in their lives is mesmerizing reading.

Debbie Macomber does a magnificent job of creating characters so life-like that some feel like one’s very own friends and acquaintances, while others come across as plain-old ornery people one hopes to avoid. The reader vicariously experiences the thoughts, hopes, fears, and deepest desires of the characters. With humor, remarkable description, and phenomenal character development, Ms. Macomber takes the reader right along on this life-changing trip with Bethann, Annie, and Ruth, AND gives the reader heroes that make the heart dance with joy.

A Turn in the Road is exquisitely written and sparkles with humor and an appreciation for life. Super reading!