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About the Author-
- James Patterson is the world's bestselling author. The creator of Alex Cross, he has produced more enduring fictional heroes than any other novelist alive. He lives in Florida with his family.
June 7, 2004
Though Patterson is best known for his Alex Cross thrillers, one of his biggest-selling titles has been Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas
(2001), an affecting love story awash in tragedy and hope. This new, less powerful but compulsively readable novel is cut from the same sentimental cloth, with the narrative hook here being not diary entries but letters that an elderly woman writes to her beloved granddaughter. When Jennifer, a grieving widow and columnist for the Chicago Tribune
, hears that her grandmother Samantha has fallen and is in a coma, she races to Sam's town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. At Sam's home on the shores of the lake, she finds a packet of letters addressed to her; their text, recapping Sam's life with an abusive husband but also with a mysterious lover she calls "Doc," occupies half the novel. In counterpart runs Jennifer's romance with a childhood friend, Brendan, she reunites with, only to learn that he is dying of brain cancer—a romance that allows her to heal her grief for her dead husband, Danny, who drowned the year before. The novel's structure works brilliantly, with Patterson as usual using brief chapters and simple prose to propel the reader onward; more thrust comes from the plot questions: Will Sam survive? Who is Doc? What will become of Jennifer and dying Brendan? The answers will leave readers satisfied but not as stirred as they were with Suzanne
. This is a slighter tale, but also one that few if any will put down as Patterson again shows how it is done. (June 28)
The novel is a good bet to hit #1, but it may not stay there long given the continuing strength of
The Da Vinci Code.
February 1, 2004
Patterson in a romantic mood: Jennifer discovers that a beloved family member has long harbored a secret passion and then succumbs to a passion of her own.
Copyright 2004 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
July 1, 2004
After the success of " Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" (2001), it should surprise no one that Patterson is trying his hand at another romantic tale, and this one is every bit as enjoyable as its predecessor. Jennifer, a " Chicago Tribune" columnist who's still mourning the death of her beloved husband, Danny, is jolted out of her lonely life when she receives news that her grandmother, Sam, has taken a fall and is now in a coma. Racing up to Lake Geneva to be by her grandmother's bedside, Jennifer discovers a packet of letters at Sam's house, which are addressed to her. They are from Sam; in them, Sam tells Jennifer that her husband was not the great love of her life. Instead, Sam was swept off her feet by a man she calls "Doc," whom she still loves to this day. As Jennifer learns some shocking secrets about her grandmother, she finds herself falling under the spell of a handsome neighbor, Brendan. Jennifer is surprised to find she is able to love again after Danny, but just when you think Jennifer's life can't be touched by any more tragedy, she learns a sad secret about Brendan. Patterson is infamous for surprising his readers, though, and the ending to this novel is unexpected, touching, and satisfying. Another winner from Patterson, sure to draw the same audience as " Suzanne's Diary."(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2004, American Library Association.)
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
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