SARAH CONLEY by Ellen Gilchrist


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The 13th work of fiction from Gilchrist (The Courts of Love, 1996, etc.), who here tries to give the standard midlife crisis story some fresh vigor by dropping a suddenly eligible old flame into the cast of characters. Sarah Conley is nothing if not driven. The only offspring of a poor Kentucky family, she managed to support her mother and herself after her father's death while she was still a child--and went on to turn an afterschool job as copygirl at a small-town newspaper into a journalistic career that eventually takes her all the way to Manhattan, where she ends up as an editor of Time. Glamorous, accomplished, and quite self-satisfied, Sarah juggles her career and social life without much effort, and has pretty much gotten over the absence of her son, whose custody she lost in the course of her recent divorce. Then, however, an unexpected summons from Eugenie, an ailing childhood friend, catches her off-guard, and she returns to Kentucky to discover that Eugenic is not merely sick but dying. Eugenie is married to Jack, whom Sarah always loved and who himself fell in love with Sarah after he'd become engaged to Eugenie. And now Sarah and Jack, after an absence of years, feel once more the same passion. Jack pursues Sarah this time around, following her all the way to Paris (where she goes after her final visit with Eugenic) to plead his case. Will love triumph in the end? Can passion be put on hold? And is it really possible to go home again, after all? The most familiar and best-loved potboiler quandaries take on new life under Gilchrist's direction, lending a good deal of shading (if not depth) to a fairly unoriginal plot. In the end, well-turned-out but unremarkable. Gilchrist keeps you in the palm of her hand when she tells a story, even if it's one that won't be remembered half an hour after it's over.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0316314773
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: "Little, Brown"