CLOUD NINE by Luanne Rice

CLOUD NINE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The obstacles inherent in finding true love, fighting terminal cancer, reconciling a broken family and maintaining the family farm are resolved--all within a few weeks--in this latest schmaltz-lest from Rice (Home Fires, 1995, etc.). Having just been given a clean bill of health after battling a brain tumor, 37-year-old Sarah Talbot is treated for her birthday to an airplane ride over rural New York. Her pilot, the dashing Will Burke, takes a fast shine to her rhapsodic happiness, which alchemizes his leaden gloom into golden hope. That's just what Will needs since the disintegration of his family: After his son Fred drowned (Will blames himself--he's a trained Navy rescue operative), he and his wife divorced, he quit the Navy to become a charter pilot, and his teenage daughter Susan lost, or seemed to lose, her marbles. Sarah and Will meet again by chance at a country fair, where Sarah hires him to take her back to Elk Island for Thanksgiving. Dangling off the coast of Maine, this remote spot was Sarah's childhood refuge; her teenage son and father now live there. Sarah longs to bring the runaway Mike back home with her and to reconcile with the father who's never forgiven her for leaving the island. Meanwhile, Will's daughter Susan stows away for the trip to escape the dreariness of life with her tight-lipped mother and pretentious stepfather. The island is a fantasy for all concerned. Though they barely know each other, Sarah and Will fall madly in love; Susan's mesmerized by everything--island life, Sarah, and handsome Mike. When Mike falls through an iced-over pond, Will even manages to save him. But nothing this good, of course, can last. An unbelievable death walk down the aisle tops off this syrupy concoction.

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 1999
ISBN: 0553385844
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Bantam