Continuing with the Alphabet Challenge…
For the letter “A,” I decided to read a book that had been in my TBR pile for many years: Charlotte Vale Allen’s Somebody’s Baby, published in 1995.
This book is not a romance, although it certainly could’ve had more of a romantic bent without diminishing the story. It’s more of a suspenseful mystery and a character study. The plot involves a 30-31 year old woman who is a photographer in New York City. Suddenly, our heroine — Snow Devane — learns that her mother has had a heart attack and she must rush to a hospital in Rhode Island before it’s too late.
Snow’s mother was a widow who raised her daughter without a father. She was super protective and although loving, very prim and proper regarding her standards for her daughter. As a result, Snow privately rebelled, running off to do things her mother would be humiliated over, like having affairs with married men while still a teenager. Once an adult, Snow went off to art school and then moved to New York. However, her personal dynamic doesn’t change much and she still has relationships with men who are unavailable.
Back to her mother’s bedside, Snow reaches her just in time for a death bed confession that rocks her world. Her mother admits that she is not Snow’s true parent but stole her out of a supermarket cart 30 years ago, while her true mother had gone down another aisle to pick up a grocery item. Although in shock, this confession explains so much to Snow, and she and her best friend start a search for who Snow’s actual parents are, who this woman who raised her was, and how this woman attained so much money for which Snow is now the beneficiary.
This story kept me turning the pages because I couldn’t wait to see if Snow would find her real family, find out who the woman who raised her actually was, and how this woman managed to accumulate such a fortune. Along the way, we get a lot of self analysis by Snow and we come to know some of her friends and new acquaintances who either help her or impact her feelings about it, but when we finally get to the answers, I was disappointed in the time spent on them and the lack of impact. In terms of the big unknowns in this story, I thought they were watered down and handled in a namby-pamby way. Not only that, but the author introduced side stories that really didn’t add much to the central plot-line, including a new romance that I found to be part and parcel of the main character’s previous problems.
The author built up a terrific story and then just whiffed it! Ugh. I’ll give it a “C.”
The Cocktail Challenge – 7 down, 3 to go.
Alphabet Challenge – 8 down, 2 to go. (A, B, C, G, H, J, M, & Q)