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Babes in Captivity    by Pamela Redmond Satran order for
Babes in Captivity
by Pamela Redmond Satran
Order:  USA  Can
Downtown Press, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Four women, who first met in a mother's group years before, continue to get together once a month. At their November dinner, they talk about their lives and each agrees to do something to bring them closer to who they really want to be.

Deirdre is the instigator. Prior to marrying and having children, she was a professional singer. Now, the former love of her life, Nick, has come back on the scene, reviving her desire to be a singer and maybe a bit more. It doesn't hurt that she's not at all physically attracted to her husband. Can Deirdre turn her dreams into reality? Juliette wants another baby. Her husband Cooper is against the idea because their son Trey has Asperger's syndrome. Cooper wants his wife back, but Juliette is totally dedicated to Trey. Will Juliette compromise in order to have another child?

Anne has long been the wage earner in her family. Her husband, Damian, is a filmmaker, and Anne's salary supports his career. But she's tired of her dreams being put on the back burner - she wants to open a restaurant. When Anne finds out that Damian is cheating, will she follow her heart or her head? Finally, Lisa is the one who appears to have her life all together. Her marriage is solid, she has four wonderful children, and a plan and schedule for everything. Yet when her health throws a curve ball, Lisa doesn't know how to be vulnerable with those closest to her.

This novel is a breath of fresh air in the chick lit genre. It's delightful to read about women attempting to find out what really makes them happy, without throwing away their families to accomplish it. The friends' unique dilemmas make their stories fascinating. Chapters alternate between the four points of view, giving the reader an intimate glimpse into each life. I related least to Deirdre - I couldn't understand why she was discontented with the choices she had made, and why she wanted to revisit them again. Lisa's struggles were mostly out of her control, but she had to come to terms with how she would handle them.

The author sprinkles in humor to temper the heavier contemplation of these 'babes' held captive by their choices. Many of the stories went in directions I didn't predict, offering a move away from the formulaic romance novel. I was both entertained and given much to think about by Babes in Captivity.

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