ONE LAST DANCE by Eileen Goudge


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Death in a closeknit family brings disturbing revelations of infidelities and betrayal as Goudge (Thorns of Truth, 1998, etc.) offers an absorbing and persuasive, if sometimes predictable, take on sibling rivalry. A few days before Dr. Vernon and Lydia Seagrave are to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, Lydia picks up a gun and shoots her husband. And when the police arrive, she provides no explanation for her action. Younger daughters Kitty and Alex live near the family home on the California coast; eldest sister Daphne, a novelist, has to fly in from New York, leaving her husband, Roger, behind to take care of their children. As the three sisters struggle to understand what motive Lydia could possibly have had for killing their father, whom she claims she still loves, they find old rivalries resurfacing. Daphne has always been her mother’s favorite, Kitty has sided with Daphne, and Alex was her father’s pet. Now, she can—t forgive her mother and won—t help Daphne and Kitty as they try to understand Lydia’s uncharacteristic behavior. Their father may have been a pillar of the community, but it seems he led a sordid private life, seducing his wife’s best friend as well as others close to the family and affecting his daughters’ happiness with his arrogant, manipulative conduct. Throughout the investigation and its disclosures, the sisters— lives change in other ways as well: Daphne finds herself falling in love again with Johnny, her high school sweetheart, now an assistant D.A.; single Kitty, wanting to adopt, also falls unexpectedly in love; and now-divorced Alex discovers, as she accepts the truth about her father, that she is ready to resume her marriage. All will be resolved, with, of course, romantic outcomes for all. A sunnier tale of a Daddy Dearest, by a writer who knows how to entertain in a lively and credible way—despite those too neatly programmed happy endings. (Literary Guild super release; Doubleday main selection)

Pub Date: June 21st, 1999
ISBN: 0-670-88575-4
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1999


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