Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Mother's Life by Rowan Coleman

Book description:
"For wealthy Alison James, moving with her family to her hometown of Farmington presents more than a case of relocation jitters. Fifteen years ago, she fled town, eloping with her best friend's boyfriend. Now, blessed with three children, but uneasy in her marriage, she wonders if that decision led her away from the life she was meant to lead.

Catherine Ashley, broke, the mother of two and almost divorced, can't help but wonder the same thing. Although she's content with her children, she finds herself returning again and again to those few weeks fifteen years ago when she fell deeply in love, only to be betrayed by her most trusted friend.

Now, once more living in the same town, Alison and Catherine are about to find out just how different their lives could still be. But this time around they are adults, and while their own happiness is at stake, so is their children's."

When Alison and Catherine were 17, their friendship was torn apart by Marc, who wooed Catherine only to elope with Alison. 15 years later, Alison and Marc move back to the scene of their crimes to discover Catherine now separated from Jimmy, Alison's teenage crush. As their children become friends, Alison and Catherine each face the question of whether or not they are living the another mother's life.

As with Coleman's other book, The Accidental Mother, Another Mother's Life skirts the lmore serious edge of chick-lit. At the beginning of the book, it is difficult to like any of the characters, but as the story unfolds and the reasons for some of their foibles are revealed, they all (except maybe Marc) become more understandable and more human. I was content with the ending, and felt Coleman remained true to her characters rather than imposing the deus-ex-machine happily ever after that dooms so much of the genre.

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