Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A PIECE OF NORMAL by Sandi Kahn Shelton


by Sandi Kahn Shelton

Pub Date: June 6th, 2006
ISBN: 1-4000-9731-2
Publisher: Shaye Areheart/Harmony

The unexpected return of her long-lost sister throws a divorced mother for a loop.

Lily has led a quiet life in Branford, Conn., since her parents’ death in a car accident a decade ago. She lives in her childhood home, cares for her young son and writes an advice column for the local newspaper. Ex-husband Teddy stops by most evenings to commiserate about the dating scene: “We talk and analyze everything that either of us has thought or heard about during the day, telling each other most of our secrets. But then—and this may be the best part—he goes home to his own bed.” Things change when Lily’s sister shows up on her doorstep. Dana, who ran off years ago with a punk-rock band, may or may not be back to stay (there’s the little matter of grand-theft auto to consider), but she’s appalled by Lily’s “stagnant” life. First, Dana pushes her sibling toward Alex, a radio station manager interested in hiring Lily as an on-air commentator. Next, she has a fling with Teddy. Then she informs Lily, who had idealized their parents’ marriage, that their mother had a long-time female lover and that their parents were about to separate on the evening they were killed. The author handles her characters and story deftly, although it’s hard to see how the sisters will reconcile now that bad-seed Dana, who has taken over the house as well as the ex-husband, is carrying Teddy’s child.

A likable heroine and novel from women’s-mag veteran Shelton (What Comes After Crazy, 2005).