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Love In Complete Sentences    by Mary E. Mitchell order for
Love In Complete Sentences
by Mary E. Mitchell
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Two years after the sudden death of her husband Kyle, Kate Cavanaugh's family is virtually unrecognizable. Kyle was forty-two years old when he died in bed beside Kate. She wears her guilt like a coat, thinking she should have seen he was in distress. Her fourteen year old daughter Charlotte has turned into a sad, tattooed, teenager, with whom Kate cannot connect. Her son, four year old Hunter, quietly walks around with an empty ketchup bottle clutched to his chest. Marge, their next door neighbour and good friend, tries to keep the family functioning.

Kate is a guidance counselor at Charlotte's high school. All the other teachers seem to know more about Charlotte's life than Kate does. Kate has a group of high risk teens that she meets with once a week. When tragedy strikes one of her students, Kate begins to fall apart. Her relationship with Charlotte tense, and becoming indifferent to her job, Kate decides to take a leave of absence from school, uproot her children, and drive cross country to Texas to visit her parents.

Their road trip is short lived however, as Hunter is injured, and they make a stop in Boston to visit with Kyle's aging parents. While there, Charlotte disappears. A search begins for her, but Kate is sure Charlotte is headed for home. With the help of her in-laws, a few close friends, and a good looking man who wants to date Kate, their family life slowly begins to repair itself. Kate learns that life is hard, often unfair, but you have to live in the present, and not the past. She fights to reclaim her life.

Love In Complete Sentences is a well written story of a family in crisis. They face turmoil and uncertainty, but eventually they start living again.

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