Kirkus Reviews QR Code
AMANDA by Kay Hooper


by Kay Hooper

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-553-09957-4
Publisher: Bantam

A first hardcover for the popular Hooper provides all the requisite thrills, chills, and hot-blooded romance, but this southern-style mystery, love story, should-be-a-TV-movie-of-the- week somehow lacks soul. When 29-year-old Amanda Daulton appears at Gloryher childhood home and the place where most of her dead father's relatives still liveshe's hardly met with open arms. Except for Jesse, her grandfather (who's dying of cancer and in the process of preparing his will), the rest of the familysupported by Walker McLellan, the suspicious Daulton family attorneyhave their assorted reasons for suspecting Amanda of fraud; mostly, if she is in fact who she says she is, they wonder why can't she explain the evening 20 years before when her mother Christine snatched her away from Glory under cover of darkness. As Amanda struggles to recall that all-important night, and as most of her family struggles to prove she's an impostor out to get an inheritance, trouble ensues in spades: Amanda's poisoned at a party given by Jesse in honor of her return, Jesse's guard dogs are killed, and potentially dangerous sparks fly between couplesmost notably between Amanda and the still suspicious but undeniably smitten Walker. The anticlimactic climax comes when Amanda learns the truth surrounding the events of her childhood disappearance. Hooper stretches believability to the limits in the final pages; a longtime (practically part of the family) housekeeper turns into a crazed monster, and Amanda is plunged into a highly improbable plot twist involving her recently departed mother. After far too many histrionics, the young woman's destiny is finally fulfilled. A well-traveled path with nary an unpredictable turn. (Literary Guild alternate selection)