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Publishers Weekly, 2004-06-07 In the same vein as her novel The Blue Bottle Club, Stokes again presents a story of four women friends and the twists and turns their lives take. The women-Amanda "Lovey" Love, Grace Benedict, Liz Chandler and Tess Riley-are thrown together in a college philosophy course, charged with answering the question, "What is truth?" In their diversity (the moralist, the activist, the cheerleader, the aspiring author) they forge a close friendship. Stokes's books usually have a concrete motif of sorts (The Amber Photograph; The Treasure Box; The Wishing Jar; The Memory Book), and in this novel the object is a "circle journal" that the women pass around and contribute to for 30 years. However, each woman fails to tell the complete truth about her life in the journal, especially when she encounters failure or disappointment. When desperate circumstances cause Grace to bring the quartet back together again, telling the truth is in order, but they find that risking truth with one another is a daunting proposition. Stokes is a competent writer who knows how to craft a well-paced story. Although this book is more adventurous than her earlier fiction-CBA fans will be surprised to discover profanity and a lesbian character-Stokes's fans will find the same type of plot, faith themes and characters that they've enjoyed in her previous novels. Agent, Claudia Cross. (June 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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