Morris (Oprah-anointed Songs in Ordinary Time, 1995, etc.) weaves the tale of a troubled 30-year-old woman searching
desperately for love, acceptance, and ultimately her own identity.
Fiona Range has a unique talent for getting into trouble. Hotheaded and hot-blooded, she lives life on the edge. As the story
opens, a seriously hung-over Fiona finds herself in bed one morning with a man she has no memory of taking home. What's
worse, he's married and his wife is in the hospital, having just given birth. Yet this would surprise no one in the staid New
England town of Dearborn, because Fiona, who spends her days waitressing at the local diner, has a reputation, and it isn't a
good one. Her mother abandoned her soon after she was born, and her father is reputed to be the unstable, reclusive, violence-
prone Patrick Grady, who returned from Vietnam decorated with a medal and scars, both physical and emotional. Reared by
her aunt (her mother's sister) and uncle, a prominent judge, Fiona is beautiful, dark, and tempestuous, an outcast floating
unfocused through life. Elizabeth, the cousin beside whom she was raised, is beautiful, blond, even-tempered, and sweet, a
do-gooder who has just returned from New York, where she worked as a teacher, followed closely by Rudy, a doctor who wants
to marry her. As the family prepares for Elizabeth's impending wedding, Fiona is involved in a series of liaisons with
inappropriate men, including her cousin's former boyfriend. At the same time, against the pleas of all around her, she is drawn
dangerously to Grady, leading to a climax in which long buried secrets are finally unearthed.
Morris has a wonderful ear for dialogue and, here, presents us with a complex, compelling character. But, ultimately, this
soap opera—like tale is repetitive and the answers to those secrets are hardly surprising. (Book-of-the-Month Club selection)