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A young woman walks out on her husband just before their baby is born, then finds life as a single mother to be one crisis after another, especially after she becomes embroiled in a custody battle. On the surface, Morgan would seem to have it made. She is a successful plastic surgeon and author (The Making of a Woman Surgeon), with an income that would make most single mothers salivate. But the bills had piled up during her short ""maternity leave,"" while office expenses and a payroll had to be met out of her earnings. There were legal fees for arranging visiting rights for the father and eventually to meet his custody challenge. There were also costs for a constant turnover of child-care arrangements. To supplement her income she puts herself on the Emergency Room roster. To further aggravate things, her little girl becomes severely disturbed from (according to Morgan) overnight visits with the father. The child suffers a serious seizure that nearly kills her. Even as the custody battle comes to a boil, Morgan must find the time and money to move to a new office (her lease is not renewed) and to a new and larger home. The reader's brain glazes over as her life grows increasingly complicated. Eventually, Morgan wins custody of little Lucy and muses about the fate of less well-heeled single mothers unable to match the economic clout of their estranged husbands in custody challenges. She also faults a judicial system that forced her child to go on overnight paternal visits despite dire psychological consequences. She calls for reviews by social workers, teachers and psychiatrists ""to advise parents and the courts as to what visitation at what age is safe and what may harm."" What is completely missing is the father's point of view. Why did he keep insisting on overnight visits for a child that was becoming increasingly emotionally disturbed? Why did he take Morgan to court as an ""unfit mother?"" But here it's all Morgan's story; and no one can say it's not riveting, or that she doesn't make a compelling case for her side.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1986
Publisher: Little, Brown