Ballantine, 2009 (2009)
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Reviewed by Joan Burton
is the story of four college friends who reunite after twenty-three years. In their mid forties, they have agreed to meet at Lola's beach front home on Whale Head Island, North Carolina. All eager to join the others, they bring trepidation with them on this girl's week of fun in the sun.
ola, married to her college boyfriend Briggs, seems to have it all. But although very wealthy, Briggs is demanding and abusive and Lola is miserable and medicated. Her friends wonder why she has stayed with him so long. Sara, a lawyer and married with two young children, carries her guilt with her wherever she goes. Her young son is autistic, and she feels it was brought on by an accident she could have avoided. Annie is obsessive-compulsive. She is everyone's mother, always worrying about someone or something. She holds a secret close to her heart and wonders how different her life would be if she had chosen to let go and go for it. Mel, twice divorced and a successful writer, finds herself lonely and envious of her friends' lives. She is apprehensive about seeing Sara, and hopes that after all this time an old boyfriend who once came between them will be long forgotten.
he story moves from the 1980's to 2005. We first meet the young college friends and learn what happened to shape their lives and how each dealt with what they were given. The older women of the present try to recapture those carefree days but all know they can never go back. They discuss their marriages and their families, their lost loves, and their losses. Eventually each opens up to reveal secrets the others never knew. At times funny, sad, and endearing,
leaves you with a good feeling and the plot takes a very satisfying twist when the reunion is over.
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