Life was good for Liz and Jack Sutherland. In eighteen years of marriage they had built a family, a successful law practice, and a warm happy home near San Francisco, in a house on Hope Street. But one Christmas morning, in the midst of joy and children's laughter, tragedy strikes, and Liz is left alone, facing painful questions in the face of ...Read MoreLife was good for Liz and Jack Sutherland. In eighteen years of marriage they had built a family, a successful law practice, and a warm happy home near San Francisco, in a house on Hope Street. But one Christmas morning, in the midst of joy and children's laughter, tragedy strikes, and Liz is left alone, facing painful questions in the face of unbearable loss. How can she go on without her husband, her partner, her best friend? The months pass, and Liz finds the strength to return to work and tend to her children. Then a devastating accident sends her oldest son to hospital - and brings a doctor called Bill Webster into her life. As the long days of summer blend into autumn, a new relationship offers new hope. With the anniversary of her husband's death approaching, Liz will face one more crisis before she can look back at a year of mourning and change - and ahead to the beginning of a new life, in the house on Hope Street.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2000-04-17 Have Kleenex near at hand; the heartstrings are plucked nonstop in this vintage Steel, her 49th (after The Wedding). Liz Sutherland, wife of the dashing Jack (also her partner in a divorce law practice) and mother of five great kids, is the happiest of women--until tragedy strikes. On Christmas Eve, the estranged husband of a Sutherland client kills his wife, then Jack, then himself. Steel spares us nothing. She knows the anatomy of grief--abhorrence of the unctuous word "arrangements"; the cruel return to consciousness each morning. If the metaphors are clunky (a bowling ball on the heart), so be it; Steel's palpable, contagious sincerity wins readers' empathy. At last Liz laughs again, then, inevitably, loves again. Her new amour is Dr. Bill Webster, and they meet when her oldest child, Peter, is injured in a swimming pool accident. Peter cheers on the new romance, and so does Liz's youngest, the developmentally delayed (and charming) Jamie. Teen daughter Megan and her two younger sisters try to derail the relationship, however, and Megan's sass provides a needed counterpoint to much sunniness. Steel's commitment to her main characters is unimpeachable; minor characters fare less well. Distracted Liz almost runs over a woman who then sends flowers instead of suing--a neat start to a relationship that never happens--and the murderer's orphaned children fall out of the plot with unsettling abruptness. Still, Steel's devoted readers will swallow the story in one gulp. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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