ILLUSION by Denise Robertson


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A breathless British take on a relationship that unravels as a young woman learns long-hidden family secrets’secrets that will change her attitude to her lover and her future. The story begins in March 1997. Television floor manager Rachel lives in London with Leigh, a broadcast journalist covering the upcoming British elections. Ambitious and work-obsessed, Leigh doesn—t want to fully commit himself to her until he’s made a mark for himself. Rachel loves him deeply but is prepared to accept the current status quo because he’s so wonderful. Then she goes home to Yorkshire for sister Liz’s wedding and finds her usually close-knit family in an uproar. Older sister Vanessa hints at events of nearly 30 years ago that have forever plagued her; and their father, a retired military officer, has been unfaithful yet again to their much-loved mother, Dodo. Another complication arises when Rachel realizes she may be pregnant, a suspicion soon confirmed by old flame Tom, now the local doctor. As she hesitates to tell Leigh, Rachel learns that her birth mother was a female soldier seduced by her father; Dodo adopted the baby as her own to prevent his dismissal from the army. When Leigh, completely caught up in covering the election, makes it clear that he wants her to have an abortion, Rachel, uncertain what to do, decides to find her natural mother first—a decision that involves much travel and lots of comforting counsel from Doctor Tom before she learns the complete truth. This sets her free to see Leigh for what he is and to recognize her family as flawed but nonetheless warm and supportive. The political backdrop gives intimations of heft to what is essentially the familiar story of a woman learning she’s been in love with the wrong man. Readable fluff.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-684-86839-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2000