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Laura Rider's Masterpiece    by Jane Hamilton Amazon.com order for
Laura Rider's Masterpiece
by Jane Hamilton
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Laura and Charlie Rider have been married for twelve years. No children the time just never seemed right. They run the Prairie Wind Farm Nursery in Hartley, Wisconsin. Laura wants to become an author held in high esteem for her writing prowess. Charlie just loves life.

In this novel, Laura Rider's Masterpiece, by Jane Hamilton, other key characters are Jenna Faroli, a talk show radio host and her husband Frank, a quiet, taciturn man with whom Jenna has led a peaceful life. Neither woman has much interest in sex for various reasons. That is, until Jenna meets Charlie and a great new passion arouses itself in Jenna.

Discovering that Charlie has an email correspondence with Jenna, Laura inserts in it her own writing, in order to hone her skill at expressing herself. Of course, Jenna thinks it's Charlie sending the loving emails that grow more and more passionate. It's easy to see where this is going except that the affair has the full approval of the wronged wife.

This is a fun book and takes twists that no one could expect. Hamilton is the author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, both of which won awards. When Madeline Was Young was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Anyone one chooses a book by Jane Hamilton cannot go wrong and Laura Rider's Masterpiece continues the tradition.

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