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A Woman's Place


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About the Author

Barbara Delinsky is the author of more than twenty-two New York Times bestselling novels. Her books have been published in thirty languages, with over thirty-five million copies in print worldwide. A lifelong New Englander, Delinsky currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband. She is a passionate photographer, an avid tennis player, a drop-all-when-they-call mom and Grammi, and a confidante to friends of all stripes.


In the spirit of Kramer vs. Kramer, sociologist Delinsky's new novel (after The Passions of Chelsea Kane) explores the drama and pain unleashed when affluent parents battle for the hearts, minds and custody of their kids. The twist here is that an overachieving mother risks losing custody and having to pay alimony to an underachieving father. Successful businesswoman Claire Raphael returns home to Gloucester, Mass., from Cleveland, where she was visiting her ailing mother, Connie, only to find that she has been served with an Order to Vacate her house on the grounds that she is not a responsible mother. Husband Dennis relentlessly pursues divorce, custody of the children and substantial alimony that would include a hefty cut of Claire's franchised furniture business, WickerWise. As the two square off, Claire seeks comfort in the arms of business partner Brody, and Dennis with lawyer Phoebe. The kids muddle through, Johnny battling cynicism, Kikit allergy attacks. With a subplot about sister Rona emerging from Connie's shadow, the story heads inevitably toward the legal decision about custody. Along the way, the intricacies of this type of case are illuminated. With the threat of a chauvinistic judge's decision looming, Claire gropes towards an understanding of her disintegrating marriage. Delinsky writes a gushy prose peopled with expected, albeit sometimes role-reversed, characters that undermine her novel's literary value. As a dramatization of the legal problems faced by some modern women, however, her story is notable and likely to garner attention. (Mar.)

Delinsky (Shades of Grace, LJ 1/96), the author of over 60 novels, has another winner: a woman's story of a marriage gone sour, seasoned with betrayal, disloyalty, unhappiness, and greed. Clair Raphael has a less-than-admirable spouse, yet she is doing her best to be a superwoman, catering to her beloved children and husband and in her spare time building a $20 million business called WickerWise. Returning home from a visit to her dying mother, she finds her children at her in-laws and is presented with a court order to vacate the house and to stay away from the children. Dennis wants a divorce, the house, full custody of the children, a hefty alimony, and half of the business. Add a chauvinistic judge and a biased family court adviser to the mix, and the result is fast and furious reading to see what happens next. Go for it.‘Dawn L. Anderson, North Richland Hills P.L., Tex.

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