TRAIL OF SECRETS by Eileen Goudge

TRAIL OF SECRETS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. . ."" Such is the dominant theme of this latest Goudge saga (Blessing in Disguise, 1994, etc.). It's 1972 when Ellie, a good girl from the Midwest whose parents kicked her out when she got pregnant (it was her ""first time""), returns to the Manhattan apartment where her hooker sister Nadine has been baby-sitting Ellie's infant daughter Bethanne. But to Ellie's horror, while she's been working the late shift selling movie tickets, Nadine's been beaten to a pulp by her pimp, who--worse yet--made off with Betanne (telling Nadine, who later dies of a drug overdose, that blue-eyed babies are hot on the black market). Waspy Kate Sutton--wife of the also blue-blooded Will, co-owner of an antiques store, and someone who's been craving motherhood for years--is so elated when her husband's attorney suddenly ""locates"" an adoptable baby that she forces herself to ignore the revealing photos and news bulletins about Bethanne's kidnapping. As it happens, the child grows up as Skyler Sutton, a lovely, smart, gifted equestrienne who's been told by the Suttons since the age of six that she was abandoned by her ""real"" mother. Meanwhile, Ellie's never forgotten Bethanne, of course, but she's managed to put herself through night- and then graduate school, become a psychologist, and marry Paul Nightingale, a neonatologist who has trouble dealing with Ellie's desperate, always doomed attempts to become a mother again. When the 23-year-old Skyler/Bethanne meets Tony Salvatore, a friend of Ellie's and a mounted policeman from the wrong side of the tracks (but with a heart of gold), all hell breaks loose: Secrets leak, wounds reopen, another baby is born--and Goudge plays fix-it with her customary zeal, providing farfetched but satisfying conclusions. A relatively guilt-free, toothsome treat: Goudge doesn't aim too high, but then again, unlike overshooters, she hits her mark.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1996
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: Viking