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Domestic Affairs    by Eileen Goudge order for
Domestic Affairs
by Eileen Goudge
Order:  USA  Can
Vanguard, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Rosalie and her daughter Abigail lived with the Merriweathers in their mansion. Rosalie was the cook and housekeeper until the day she was accused of stealing and lost her job. Abigail lost the only home she ever knew, along with her best friends, twins Lila and Vaughn. Abigail felt betrayed by her friends, who knew the truth.

As the years passed, they were hard ones. Rosalie died from cancer and Abigail was a victim of sexual abuse. Doing the only thing she knew - cooking - Abigail built an empire from her TV cooking show and writing cookbooks. She married well, a doctor, and had a daughter of her own. The Merriweathers suffered also. Their marriage ended in divorce and Vaughn, a wildlife photographer, battled cancer. Lila married a wealthy corporate executive and had it all until her life was torn apart by scandal and she ended up penniless with her young son Neil. She did the only thing she could. After twenty-five years, she approached Abigail for a job.

Desperate for work, Lila accepts the position of housekeeper for Abigail and her family. The pay is low, but Lila and Neil can live in the apartment over the garage. Once again Abigail's life starts to unravel. Her marriage ends in divorce and her daughter Phoebe rebels. With Lila working for her now, she is once again in contact with Vaughn. Abigail feels the old attraction for him but he is struggling with his health and an old girlfriend who won't let go. Phoebe and Neil are soon dating and Abigail cannot connect with her daughter. Dealing with all this stress, Abigail receives news that a factory in Mexico that was doing work for her burned down and a young woman lost her life. Now the distraught mother is heading North to confront Abigail whom she holds responsible for her daughter's death.

Slowly Abigail and Lila are putting their friendship back together. Lila is the one person to help Abigail when she needs it. When Abigail loses her home to a fire and Phoebe and Neal are hospitalized, old hurts are forgotten and Abigail feels she has her family back again. Domestic Affairs is a story of love and forgiveness. It shows us that fate has a way of balancing the score and material possessions do not always guarantee happiness.

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