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Amy & George    by Ann L. McLaughlin order for
Amy & George
by Ann L. McLaughlin
Order:  USA  Can
Daniel & Daniel, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

George is the Dean of Harvard Law School in 1937 and is also involved with FDR's New Deal in Washington, D.C.. To the world he is a workaholic, to his family an absent father who rarely has time for Amy, his nine-year-old daughter. He believes he truly wants to be a good father but his work always comes first.

The family has moved into a faculty house on Harvard's campus. Amy hates it as well as her new school. We all know how hard it is to be the new kid on the block. Ann L. McLaughlin's Amy & George tells a story that could be anyone's. But she tells it with deep compassion as well as deep understanding of a family's dynamic.

George and Amy are the main protagonists, though the second daughter, Nina, and the girls' mother Sophie also make appearances. Leola rules the kitchen and her husband William takes care of odd jobs and is the chauffeur. Enough characters for an engrossing tale. We learn that George has a beloved brother, Henry. And that Sophie had a privileged childhood and sees no reason that those privileges should end.

All should be well with this family. But how often have you watched a family, say in a restaurant, and assumed they must have perfect lives? Do you ever wonder what might lie beneath the patina of love and caring? Well, McLaughlin gives us a make-believe scenario of such a family, in which it is very easy to become deeply involved.

Tragedy enters all our lives at one time or another. McLaughlin posits how this family handles the things that we are all sure will never happen to us - but unfortunately, they often do. Amy & George is an endearing read.

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