A treat for Mother's Day and, although less gripping than Pearson's nonfiction about her dead husband and single-parent child-raising (One on the Seesaw, 1988), a pleasant enough jam-smeared cràpe suzette for beleaguered moms. Divorced Alison Andrews lives next to Martha Harris, Mother of the Year and a former beauty queen, whose children have planted 16 rosebushes for her on various Mother's Days. Totally devoted to her children, Martha seems never to be forgotten by them. Alison, on the other hand—with only skimpy morning glories around her house- -has two teenagers who never remember her for anything and from whom kind words come like pulled molars. They never clean up, and they commit misdemeanors beyond number. Indicative of his attitude, her son Jamie says that he knows ``why God sends babies to mothers.'' ``Why?'' ``Because if they didn't go to mothers they would land on the sidewalk and go splat! They need something soft to land on.'' On the day before Mother's Day this year, Alison boils over when she overhears her two kids being bribed to attend their school's Mother's Day pageant. She decides to take half of the Disneyland money she's saved up and run away from home. She goes only as far as the nearby Delphi Hotel, however, where she plans to spend the whole Mother's Day weekend, beyond reach of her kids, and have room service galore. And so she does. But her children, while they may seem impossible, aren't dumb. They track her down, though all their begging can't get her to return home- -until they spill the bad news about Mrs. Harris, which galvanizes Alison into action. An amusing, affectionate, if somewhat rosily superficial portrait of motherhood. Call it a Hallmark Novel.
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