Another Mother's Life is a book I picked up from the Vine program through Amazon. I'd read Rowan Coleman's earlier novel, The Accidental Mother earlier this year and enjoyed it, so I was eager to get this one to see if it compared favorably. Good news: it's another good one!
Coleman sets us up with two best friends, Alison and Catherine, reuniting after fifteen years. Only of course this isn't just a "glad to see you again" meeting; the last time the women saw each other was when they were seventeen and Alison was running away with Catherine's lover, Marc. Devastated by the loss of both boyfriend and best friend, Catherine tried to move on with her life, eventually marrying musician Jimmy Ashley and having two daughters. But just as her marriage to Jimmy is coming to an end, Alison and Marc (along with their three children) arrive back in the town of Farmington hoping to "start over". Can the women overcome the betrayals of fifteen years ago? Should they? Or should Catherine try to have revenge by sleeping with Marc now?
There are some pretty big cliches in this novel (women friends falling out over a man, infidelity, and confusion about what's best in the long run, coupled with children tragedies), but it's to Coleman's credit that she can make you care for people who really aren't all that loveable when you get down to it. I should've despised Alison, not just for what she did so long ago, but what she continued to do throughout the novel; her blind devotion to her family made her overlook what the real tragedy was. Catherine's wishy-washy personality should've put me over the edge, but again, I liked her. Coleman has a way of getting you to understand the deep-seated insecurities her characters face and make you want to befriend them.
I did a fuller review for Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/review/R35G3S7UYGDEV/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm. While this is chick lit, it's pretty good and I can recommend it for the writing and characterization. I'll be looking for Coleman's next novel.