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Suddenly    by Barbara Delinsky order for
by Barbara Delinsky
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William Morrow, 2008 (1994)
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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Suddenly is one of Barbara Delinsky's earlier books - having been first published in paperback in 1994. I missed it then but am very glad to have had the chance to catch up on it now.

The reader can always be sure of a good read from this author, and Suddenly is no exception to the rule. Delinsky's books are character driven. The reader easily slides inside the heads of the diverse players with whom she peoples her novels. In this one, a key character is dead before we meet her but her influence races through the story, making her colleagues question their own goals.

Paige Pfeiffer is one of a team of four pediatricians who care for the children in the small town of Tucker, Vermont. When Mara, another team member, dies, the three who remain delve into her past as well as their own histories. What they find both startles and dismays them. Paige takes on responsibilities she didn't plan for. Angie finds that life isn't really as idyllic as she assumed. And Peter simply can't cope with Mara's death. In trying, he finds depths in himself he had long suppressed.

Suddenly is a sad book as well as being a feel-good read. Delinsky explores motives while allowing her characters to reach their breaking points. She shows the master's touch by tying loose ends up in a large bow. This is a good book.

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