On the outside, Faith Madison is the very picture of a sophisticated New Yorker. Slim, blond, stylish, Faith has a life many would envy. Overcoming a childhood marked by tragedy, married to a successful investment banker and having raised two grown daughters, Faith has enjoyed her role as mother and wife, and the good life that emanates from their ...
On the outside, Faith Madison is the very picture of a sophisticated New Yorker. Slim, blond, stylish, Faith has a life many would envy. Overcoming a childhood marked by tragedy, married to a successful investment banker and having raised two grown daughters, Faith has enjoyed her role as mother and wife, and the good life that emanates from their bustling Manhattan townhouse. But every step of the way, Faith has carried within her a secret she could divulge to no one. And with it, she has kept an even more painful secret from herself. For Faith, it is the sudden death of her stepfather - a man who, like her husband Alex, always remained just beyond her reach - that will touch off a journey of change and revelation. At the funeral, painful memories flood back - and an old friend re-enters Faith's life. Faith is greeting mourners when she hears a voice behind her and a single word that brings a quick smile to her face: "Fred." Only one person, aside from her older brother, Jack, called her that Brad Patterson was Jack's best friend, a long, lanky boy who teased, tormented, and protected Faith when they fancied themselves "The Three Musketeers" as kids. When Jack died years later, Faith and Brad came together again in their common, inconsolable grief, then lost touch once more amid the demands of families and busy lives a continent apart. Now a lawyer in California, Brad has re-entered Faith's life just as she is making a decision that plunges her marriage into crisis. Determined to fulfill a long-held desire for a career of her own, Faith applies to law school against her husband's wishes, igniting a barrage of anger and recrimination. Faith's only solace is the correspondence she has begun with Brad, a man trapped in an empty marriage of his own, a friend she once lost and has found again. Soon emails are flying between them, bridging 3000 miles, sharing much-needed friendship, support, laughter. And as these two childhood friends rediscover each other, something extraordinary is beginning to happen. In the safety of their friendship, Brad will find the courage to make a decision he should have made years before. And Faith, too, is changing, beginning to believe in herself - and in her right to grab hold of her dreams. Gathering a strength she never knew she had, Faith is finally ready to face the most painful step of all: of sharing the secret that has long been haunting her, and truly opening up her heart for the first time in her life. With unerring insight into the hearts of husbands and wives, lovers and families, Danielle Steel tells a wise and moving story of the secrets that wound and the choices that heal - and of the second chances that come only once in a lifetime.
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-08-19 One thing remains unchanged in an ever-changing world, as evinced by Steel's 56th novel: the author's middle-aged principals never look their age or run to fat. After a childhood marred by unspeakable abuse, New Yorker Faith Madison has everything a woman could want: marriage to an investment banker, two nice daughters, a lovely home. Now that her daughters are grown, however, Faith is faced with empty-nest syndrome. Her answer? Go back to law school. Her boorish husband, Alex, tells her she can't; when she runs into childhood friend Brad Patterson at a funeral, he reassures her that she can. Brad is in a similarly stifling marriage on the West Coast, and the two begin firing off e-mails of friendly support. Neither is aware of the growing depth of romantic feeling between them. Both being churchgoers, once they do become aware, how will they reconcile what they want with the fact that they are each being married to someone else? Alex and Faith's retro attitudes about her return to school are a little too pre-1960s for 40-somethings living in the current year, and the e-mails exchanged between Faith and Brad are vapid in their painful mundanity ("...Otherwise, nothing new here... Send me another email when you have time"). Steel seems to assiduously court the currently lucrative CBA market Brad gives Faith rosary beads rather than the usual diamonds and some readers may find her protagonists' relationship maddeningly chaste, but the smooth plotting and practiced heartstring tugging achieve the desired effect. (Nov. 5) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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