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Two unlikely guardians and three orphaned children cobble together a family in this tragicomic novel, in which hardship offers everyone an opportunity for positive growth. Incorrigible playboy and former pro golfer Sean Maguire becomes caretaker for his nephew and nieces—teenager Cameron, third-grader Charlie, baby Ashley—when his brother, Derek, and former Miss Oregon USA sister-in-law Crystal die in a freak accident. Drawn into the maternal role—and ultimately Sean's arms—is fiercely independent teacher Lily Robinson, Crystal's longtime best friend. Sean does his loving best with the grief-stricken children (who also suffered through their parents' divorce the year before), but Cameron, full of anger, takes to vandalism; Charlie, suffering a reading problem, refuses to work at it; and Ashley can talk but isn't toilet trained. Shy of intimacy, Lily keeps her distance from Sean, but the family's need overcomes her reserve, and she gives up a summer vacation in Italy to join Sean and the kids on a cross-country tour for his comeback as a professional golfer. On the road, Lily loosens up, Sean settles down and the children begin to heal. Though the happy ending (plus some inconceivable golf shots) strains credibility, Wiggs offers readers a few hours of escape from their more conventional family lives. Agent, Meg Ruley. (Apr.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Lily Robinson is not only the godmother of the Hollway children; she's also their teacher. So when Lily calls in the divorced parents, Crystal (her best friend) and Derek, for a conference, and the two of them are killed on the way home, Lily's grief is exponentially worse because of her guilt. Sean Maguire, Derek's half-brother, is an ex-pro golfer ready for a comeback. Crystal never got around to formalizing her request that Lily take the children in case anything happened to her, and Sean is named as their guardian in the will. But Lily refuses to walk away from her godchildren, so Lily and Sean force themselves to cooperate with each other, an exercise that begins to lead to a grudging respect. Wiggs explores many aspects of grief, from guilt to anger to regret, imbuing her book with the classic would've/could've/should've emotions, and presenting realistic and sympathetic characters. Never maudlin, Wiggs writes with an even hand, thus adding another excellent title to her already-outstanding body of work. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.