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An Accidental Woman
By Barbara Delinsky
ISBN: 0743204700
Review by: Elaine Bienvenu

  1/1/04


In An Accidental Woman, we are reintroduced to Poppy Blake and the town of Lake Henry, New Hampshire, in this sequel to Barbara Delinsky's 1999 novel Lake News.

Poppy Blake is a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair, the result of a snowmobile accident many years before. She runs the local telephone messaging service in Lake Henry, a small New England town. The story begins as Poppy's best friend Heather is arrested for a murder committed 14 years before, in a time before Heather appeared mysteriously in Lake Henry. As Poppy strives to prove Heather's innocence, she becomes involved with journalist Griffin Hughes (a man with his own secrets), and must confront her past if she and Griffin are to have a future. The novel is set during maple syrup harvesting season, when the icy storms of winter are ending and spring is just around the corner...in a place where community equals family and love is redemption. Although the author seeks to be known as a fiction writer, rather than a romance novelist, the soul of Lake Henry is a romantic one. The settings are plush, the characters substantial, the treatment of Poppy's disability sensitive and insightful, the sex scenes a delight, and the evolution of plot cogent. I particularly enjoyed the depiction of the ice fishermen and the cry of the loons.

I was surprised to find An Accidental Woman more enjoyable than the author's first novel of Lake Henry, Lake News. (I usually don't like any book with roman numerals in the title.) Ms. Delinsky hopes to write a novel of Lake Henry for every season, and I am eagerly anticipating a novel of springtime on Lake Henry.

 



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