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Three moon gifWilliam Morrow (Hardcover), ISBN 0-688-17439-6
The tragic death of Liz Mallory's eight-year-old niece forces Liz to reconnect with her flamboyant twin sister, Harper. Harper left home, became a famous painter, married and divorced a wealthy Italian businessman. In luxury and style, she lived at her Stone Point estate with her two children.  

Book: Emily Grayson, The ObservatoryHarper's celebrated life sharply contrasts to the reticent Liz, who still lives in the family home and works as head librarian at the Longwood Falls library. No one in Longwood Falls ever confuses the twins. Harper's life sparkled with glittering achievements while Liz's accomplishments shrank into small, unexceptional moments. 

When Harper flees to Sanibel Island, Fla., to escape the grief of losing her daughter, Liz remains at Stone Point to care for Harper's other child, seven-year-old Nick. Nick suffers from his own emotional trauma and loss. Liz gently pulls the troubled boy out of his dark despair. By chance, she meets David Fields, an amateur astronomer and teacher at Nick's school. 

David rents Stardust, an unusual cottage built on a large estate. Stardust houses a huge telescope and observatory. David introduces Liz to the world beyond the horizon. Like a comet that appears only once in a lifetime, their love rockets across the universe. David warns Liz that the "universe is not a happy place. It's full of unspeakable violence." Those beautiful stars twinkling in the dark explode, crash into one another, and sometimes disappear forever. Like these ephemeral constellations, love can destruct without warning. Is their relationship a bright meteor that blazes in the night sky then disintegrates as it falls to earth?  

Book: Emily Grayson, The GazeboThe Observatory explores love on several levels. The dichotomous bond between twins, the searing passions between a man and woman, the tenuous threads that bind adults and children, and the bleak despair when these threads tragically sever. In metaphoric prose, Grayson eloquently blends the astronomer's world with the lovers' domain. Liz narrates this first-person romance, which perhaps explains its sometimes restrained, overly contemplative tone. Grayson skillfully illuminates her purpose: love that reaches for the stars, but burns those who betray its touch.  

Doris Valliant

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