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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:four moon gifSignet Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-451-20273-2
Mary Quinn returns to Burns Lake, New York, to help her daughter Noelle fight a custody battle against Noelle's husband, Robert Van Doren. Noelle wants out of her abusive marriage to this man who graduated from high school with her parents. Robert tricks her and gains temporary custody of their five-year-old daughter, Emma.

Book: Eileen Goudge, The second silence Robert uses Noelle's alcoholic past as ammunition to keep Emma. No one in Burns Lake crosses Robert Van Doren. He practically owns the community, and what he doesn't own, he controls. Now mother and daughter must fight Robert and his false accusations of Noelle's alcoholic neglect of Emma.

Mary suffers demons of her own. As a young woman, Mary left Burns Lake and her young daughter. Mary's mother Doris raised Noelle, with help from Noelle's father, Charlie Jeffers. Mary, a successful New York career woman, must confront her past.

Mary and Charlie married and gave birth to a baby before they graduated from high school. Desperately poor and miserable, they stayed together less than a year. After they divorced, Mary finished high school, put herself through college and built hard-won success in public relations. During this time, Charlie remarried and worked his way up to owner and editor of the Burns Lake newspaper.

Book: Eileen Goudge, The Last danceNow a widower with a feisty teenage daughter to raise, Charlie wants Mary back. Mary can't stamp out those old feelings that rear up whenever she's around Charlie. But Mary must decide. Charlie let her go once before, and he refuses to endure that heartache again. Mary wrestles with the conflicts of rekindled passions for Charlie and the fierce desire to remain an independent career woman.

Mary lives with guilt -- from leaving her child in the care of her strict, sharp-tongued mother, to not wanting to relive the trauma of leaving Charlie. Mary represents the mother caught between family and career. Eileen Goudge doesn't sugarcoat the harsh realities of moms who put career ahead of family. Instead, she presents three generations of women trapped by circumstances, personalities, and choices.

The Second Silence gripped me from Chapter One and held me to the startling conclusion. Goudge creates compelling characters and whirls them through a suspense-filled plot. Once you start to read this book, you'll find it difficult to stop.

Doris Valliant

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