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BOOK REVIEW: NICE TO COME HOME TO
BY REBECCA FLOWERS

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"Chick lit" is sometimes maligned as a superficial reading experience, and certainly a large number of titles in that category can easily be dismissed as fluff to be tucked in a bag for a day at the beach, and casually left behind for another reader to pick up.

At first glance, one might place Rebecca Flowers debut novel in that category. It's "chick lit" to be sure, but it's also much more, distinguished from other "easy read" by strength of characterization and by a moral sense which is neither stifling nor heavy handed. Pru Whistler is a young woman living on her own in a large American city, with a circle of friends including the requisite gays, the married friends coming to terms with the demands of young children, the other single friends searching for the stability of permanent relationships, the thoughtless boyfriend, the abandoned cat, and on and on through dozens of cliches popularized by current movies and TV.

Pru deals with all of this, and more. An engaging control freak, who has dozens of lists outlining plans for her life, she eventually faces the fact that life is what happens while you're busy making plans. As one relationship collapses, she meets another man under far from optimum circumstances. And as visiting family members begin to crowd her apartment, she begins to learn how to meet and cope with burgeoning responsibilities. Almost in spite of herself, she finds a new career based in the neighborhood she has learned to love and call home.

Every other character in this tale is perfectly drawn, and Flowers skillfully avoids descending into cliche. From the clerk at the video store to the pet psychiatrist, the supporting cast adds depth and texture to the entire story.

REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, WOODSTOCK


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