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Hello, It's Me    by Wendy Markham order for
Hello, It's Me
by Wendy Markham
Order:  USA  Can
Forever, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Annie Harlowe has been a widow for a year; she desperately misses her husband Andre and feels like she can't keep it together without him. She is now raising her two children, Milo and Trixie, alone while selling home-baked cookies and seashell paperweights, and occasionally waitressing for her friend Merlin's catering business.

Annie has been paying her late husband's cell phone bill just so she can hear his voice on the answering machine. One night, when she is lonely and tired of just making it through another day, someone answers the cell phone. Through a connection filled with static, she hears Andre tell her to take the waitressing job and that he loves her and the kids.

Thom Brannock IV comes from a rich family and has had his life planned since he was a kid. He is dating a woman who does not hold his interest and is exactly like his mother and sister. He knows he can't be happy with her and wants to take risks rather than just float through life doing what is expected of him.

Annie takes the waitressing job that Merlin offers and is struck by the rich snobs that she has to serve. She bumps into the wealthy bachelor who is throwing the party and has a nice conversation with him. The next day she gets a call from Merlin saying that she had lost her wedding ring at the party and Thom would be dropping it off. When he shows up, they sit to talk for a minute and the next thing Annie knows she wakes up to Thom cooking with her children in her kitchen. She knows that he is a wonderful man but they are from different worlds and besides, Andre wouldn't want her to be with anyone else.

Hello, It's Me not only brings tears to readers' eyes over Annie's loss of Andre, but brings happiness when Thom and Annie have fun together. Thom is instantly enchanted with Milo who wants to learn to fly to heaven to see his father, and with Trixie who has been having night terrors since her father died. His sensitivity not only makes Annie fall in love with him but readers as well. Wendy Markham has a wonderful knack of weaving a story that brings Annie's life to a full circle.

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