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An Accidental Woman    by Barbara Delinsky order for
Accidental Woman
by Barbara Delinsky
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I have read two other of Barbara Delinsky's fourteen novels, The Vineyard and Lake News. So when I opened this latest, An Accidental Woman, I anticipated an enjoyable read - I was not let down.

Heather Malone, living a quiet life with Micah Smith in New Hampshire, is accused of a murder in California committed fourteen years previously. It is believed that her real name is Lisa Matlock and that she fled to avoid prosecution. The small town of Lake Henry likes Heather and rallies behind her. Writer Griffin Hughes takes up her cause, and the tale takes off running from there. It doesn't slow down until the last page. The suspense escalates as Heather refuses to defend herself.

Griffin has fallen in love with Poppy Blake, a paraplegic who defends her part of the world with fierce intensity. Because of her disability, Poppy feels that a normal love life is something she left behind at the moment of the accident that crippled her. The characters that people this book could be any one of your own family or next door neighbors, with all their faults and virtues. They are very real and believable, with the exception of Griffin who seems a little too patient and caring to be plausible, but his characterization works within the story.

For every action there is supposed to be a reaction, which is especially the case with Maida, Poppy's mother. Her revelations are not unlike many you or I might have come up against. I found it interesting to watch the growth of the people involved, and recommend An Accidental Woman to you as a good read.

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