HER OWN RULES by Barbara Taylor Bradford


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 Bradford's (Love in Another Town, 1995, etc.) latest romantic heroine swans through her 40's having it all--great kids, a promising relationship simmering, and a tidy business. But gnawing at her psychic innards is a lost childhood. Her journey takes her from shrink to sleuthing before the final celebration. An introductory flash reveals the tot ``Mari'' and her beset but adoring mother in their English cottage--a scene that concludes with Mari screaming, ``Me mam's dead!'' Back in the present there are the generally serene travels of lovely Meredith Stratton (tall, blond, eyes deep green), mother of Catherine and Jon, amicably divorced from Jon's father, and immensely successful in creating upscale hostelries at home and abroad. (Classy Meredith supplies her inns with such elegant touches as hot-water bottles in silk cases!) Her favorite inn is at Silver Lake in Vermont, where as a teenager she worked with the late innkeepers Jack and Amelia. They adored her baby, Catherine, conceived at Silver Lake. Meredith remembers nothing of her early childhood before the misery of an Australian orphanage and nasty adoptive ``parents.'' Now, however, when she visits monastic ruins in northern England, heartstrings to her buried past begin to ping. She suffers ``weak'' spells--in spite of an exciting tendre for the French designer Lue, and the happy news of Catherine's engagement. Then, thanks to sessions with a psychiatrist, some thunderclap recalls, and the help of a friend, Meredith's past begins to unroll. The conclusion swells with joyful noises and mega-happiness. This time out, Bradford taps an old scandal involving the transporting of English children, but, still, Meredith's childhood tragedy does seem implausible, and it's not until the hunt for ``Mari'' is underway that the tale moves at all. Fans may be assured, though, of lush digs and a Big Tear reunion. Lukewarm romance in one of those silk cases--and always saleable. ($1,000,000 ad/promo; author tour; TV and radio satellite tour)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-017721-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996


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