Review

Reunion

by Therese Anne Fowler

Blue Reynolds is now a wealthy, famous celebrity talk show host,
but things were different for her when she was a very young woman.
Blue's upbringing had been catch-as-catch-can with her hippie-dippy
single mom and sister. It was all about survival, and so she was
particularly happy when her high school English teacher found her a
job in his wife's office. There, Blue had fallen for the teacher
and his wife's son, Mitch. Mitch had been slightly older, divorced
and with a little boy.

Mitch and Blue were a couple for a brief and ecstatic period in
the girl's life. But when Mitch broke off the relationship, Blue
was crushed. She moved in with a friend, and attempted to lose
herself in the free love and drugs available in their household.
Unfortunately, Blue found herself pregnant from a casual encounter
with someone she didn't care about and completely without
prospects. Believing her newborn son would have a better home with
a wealthy couple, Blue let him be adopted by them.

Fast forward to Blue today. As she interviews a pregnant teen on
her program, Blue breaks down crying, much to the consternation of
her avid public. Blue has secretly hired a private detective who is
searching for the midwife who delivered her son and had also
functioned as the middleman in the adoption process. Meanwhile, she
tries to tell herself she has a good life. After all, she is worth
millions, enjoys her work and lives in a fabulous apartment. Her
very good friend is her assistant. Although she has to worry about
being in the public eye (and fears terribly any scandal that could
arise if word got out about her child) and has drifted away from
the closeness she once enjoyed with her sister, and has yet to find
a romantic partner she wants to stay with forever, the fact is Blue
has done extremely well for herself. Her life couldn't get much
better. Or could it?

The talk show is filming for a week in Key West, so Blue and her
crew jet off. Blue had no idea how much she would love the area,
and she manages to wander around incognito for a while before
coming across a house that beckons to her. Impetuously, she almost
immediately buys the place, which is homey rather than grand.
Purchasing a new home is just the first step in a series of changes
that Key West will make in Blue's life. By coincidence or the
maneuvering of fate, Mitch's parents live nearby, so he visits
them. Mitch brings along his new girlfriend, a woman he feels he
has a future with, and plans to shoot a documentary series with his
son, Julian, who is now an esteemed photographer. When Blue offers
to help Mitch and Julian with the production, the resulting working
relationships are fraught with emotions --- and delightfully
unexpected plot twists.

I have to say up front that if someone had briefly described
this book to me --- famous celebrity talk show host, secrets, old
flame, etc. --- I'd be expecting a glib, shallow, formulaic story
that would feel like a tired retread. Which makes it all the
sweeter to be able to say: I loved this book! Following the success
of her debut novel, SOUVENIR, Therese Fowler infuses her characters
with life, layering them until they could step off the page. She
handles the search for Blue's son with a subtle hand, penning the
perfect concluding chapter to that thread. Plot points that readers
may predict far in advance are totally different from expected (and
much better for it). Beautifully written and full of heart, REUNION
is a satisfying tale perfect for a weekend escape from real
life.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon (terryms2001@yahoo.com) on January 23, 2011

Reunion
by Therese Anne Fowler

  • Publication Date: March 24, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345499700
  • ISBN-13: 9780345499707