From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Griffin Hughes, a journalist, feels terrible because it was his conversation with his FBI brother that led to Heather's arrest. He travels to Lake Henry to work on his current assignment and see if he can use his contacts to help Heather and to romance Poppy, a paraplegic who fears that he is confusing pity with love. Griffin is determined that he will prove his love to Poppy no matter how long it takes.
Barbara Delinsky never fails to please her myriad fans and her latest mainstream work is no exception. AN ACCIDENTAL WOMAN stars a heroine who is impossible not to like and she's determined to be independent though she's wheelchair bound. The rather unusual courtship of Griffin and Poppy is realistic and charming. This novel will send Ms. Delinsky back to the New York Times bestseller lists.
I have to admit that AN ACCIDENTAL WOMAN is my first Delinsky book, but it will not be my last.
This wonderfully woven story about a tightly knit community thrown into turmoil over the discover that one of their 'adopted' own is a fugitive is everything a good book should be.
Delinsky takes you into the heart and soul of her characters and she creates them with enough human frailty as to make them believable.
Lake Henry, New Hampshire, and its citizens are honest, hard working and take care of their own. When federal agents show up at the home of Heather Malone and accuse her of being a woman named Lisa who killed the son of a very powerful politician, Lake Henryites are shocked.
And no one more is more surprised than Poppy Blake, Heather's best friend. Confined to a wheelchair for 12 years since a snowmobiling accident, Poppy is determined to live a normal and independent life. She has her circle of friends and her life is organized and orderly, until Heather's arrest.
Enter Griffin Hughes, the investigative reporter with more than a passing interest in Poppy and his own issues. He's there to help Heather, but he's also intrigued by Poppy. He met her when he was in Lake Henry to do a story on Poppy's sister and cannot get Poppy and her independent self out of his mind.
Delinsky weaves the Poppy/Griffin love story with the Heather/Lisa mystery with great ease. I felt as though I had been to Lake Henry, seen the snow, experienced the wind and lived through the thrill of a sap run.
This is not just a 'beach book.' You'll be thinking about Poppy/Griffin/Heather and the wonderful people of Lake Henry long after summer has gone!
The town of Lake Henry is shocked. Nice, gentle Heather could not possibly be this woman that they are talking about. But as people begin to question the assertions of the FBI, they also begin to question themselves. Nobody really knows much about Heather's life before she appeared in Lake Henry 14 years ago. Not Micah, the man that she's been living with for the past several years and with whom she's made a life and built a business. Not Poppy, the woman who counts herself as Heather's best friend.
This book is actually two stories in one. The main story is really Poppy & Griffin's love story. The seconday story is Heather's plight. As much as I liked this book (and I really did enjoy reading it) I only gave it three stars for several reasons:
1) Poppy and Griffin's story is a welcome continuation of what was begun in Delinsky's earlier story set in Lake Henry, "Lake News." As such it is gratifying to catch up with Poppy again and see that she gets her guy. But, as nice as it is to see these two get together, their story wasn't as compelling as Heather's story. And because it wasn't as compelling, I became a little impatient at their passages because I couldn't wait to get back and see what new revelations there were about Heather.
2) For all that Heather was a major catalyst to the story, that is all that she remained. She had no voice in this book. She was, for all intents and purposes, mute. She refused to talk about her past, and even when she did finally give Poppy a crumb, it was just three words and she mouthed it silently. I am sure that that was a conscious decision on Delinksy's part to keep Heather silent, so that we learned about her from other people. This worked really well for Delinsky in "Coast Road" where her heroine is in a coma and her family reflects on her life so that the only way the reader sees this pivotal character is through other characters eyes. Although I liked that technique in "Coast Road" I didn't like it so much here. I wanted the hear Heather.
3) Call me a sucker for the Hollywood ending, but I wanted more closure. Heather's story was such a good one with a boffo surprise and a great ending. But that was it. It ended. I wanted follow-up, I wanted closure. I still have questions about what happened after she reunited with Micah and the girls.
I love Barbara Delinsky. She is really one of the best writers of contemporary, character driven fiction out there. And she's at her best when she's looking at the effect one person has on a whole community, as she did in "The Passions of Chelsea Kane." This was book was a goody stroy. I think it would have been a great book if the Heather story had been the main focus and the Poppy story had been the secondary.