Suddenly

Suddenly

4.2 31
by Barbara Delinsky
     
 

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From the New York Times bestselling author of More Than Friends comes an emotionally charged novel that reflects upon the consequences of one irrevocable act.

In the idyllic small town of Tucker, Vermont, life flows at a rhythmic pace for pediatrician Paige Pfeiffer. But when Mara O'Neill, her best friend and medical partner, inexplicably kills

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of More Than Friends comes an emotionally charged novel that reflects upon the consequences of one irrevocable act.

In the idyllic small town of Tucker, Vermont, life flows at a rhythmic pace for pediatrician Paige Pfeiffer. But when Mara O'Neill, her best friend and medical partner, inexplicably kills herself, Paige's comfortable life is suddenly shattered. Temporarily caring for Mara's newly adopted baby daughter while she comes to grips with her grief, Paige clings to the hope that, in time, her orderly life will return.

What she hadn't counted on were the unexpected pleasures that often come with change, including the touch of a man who offers Paige things she never thought she wanted. She hadn't counted on finding the meaning of life in the death of a friend.

For everyone who has ever made a choice between what is and what could be, Barbara Delinsky unveils a truly moving gift from the heart that captures one woman's story and ultimately speaks to us all.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061042003
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/28/2010
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
160,544
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Paige Pfeiffer Ran At The Front Of The pack, setting a pace that a less bold thirty-nine-year old might not dare, but she had a point to prove and a bet to win. The bet involved dinner at Bernie's Béarnaise, central Vermont's most chichi restaurant. The point was that a woman her age who was in shape could easily beat a woman half her age who wasn't. At stake was the respect of the Mount Court Academy girls' varsity cross-country team, of which she was head coach for the fifth year in a row.

The race had become a tradition, albeit a predictable one. For the first of the three miles, the girls tossed cocky comments from one to the next. The comments waned during the second mile, which wove through a path in the woods and grew demanding of teenage bodies that had spent the summer indulging in the luxuries of the rich. Back on the road for the third mile, the pack thinned. Laboring runners fell behind. Only the stars of the team stayed with Paige.

There were six stars this year. Five of them had run for her the year before. The other was new to the school.

"How we doin'?" Paige asked of the group, and heard gasping complaints. Feeling wicked, she smiled. "Let's pick it up." She moved easily ahead of the others. Three moved with her. Minutes later, when she increased the pace again, only one remained. It was the new girl, so quiet up to that point that Paige knew little more than that her name was Sara Dickinson. Paige was surprised by her stamina. She was doubly surprised when, with a surge of speed, the girl took the lead.

Paige had to work to stay withher as they turned in under the wrought-iron arch that marked the school's entrance, and for a minute she wondered if indeed she were past her prime. When the thought of that rankled, she dug deep inside and found the wherewithal to draw even. Shoulder to shoulder they ran, down the long drive cordoned with tall oaks whose leaves were a ripe September green. Without missing a beat, they veered off onto the dirt path that cut to the field house.

"You're good," Paige breathed with a look at the girl beside her. She was tall for her age, had a lithe build, a comfortable stride, and a look of concentration that was nothing if not stern.

As Paige watched in darting glances, that concentration suddenly shifted, and in the space of seconds she was alone. Sara had reversed direction and was walking, winded but intent, toward the shrubbery edging the path. One by one, the others joined her there.

Paige made a wide turn and, slowing to a cooldown pace, headed back. In various stages of breathlessness, the girls were grouped around Sara, who was crouched beside a spreading yew. It was a minute before Paige saw what was beneath the bottommost branch.

"It's so tiny.

"Whose is it?"

"How did it get here?"

Forgetting the race, Paige knelt down. She took the kitten, which was orange and gray and mewling piteously, in her hand and asked Sara, "How did you ever spot it hidden this way?"

"Something moved," Sara said, and the chorus resumed.

"It doesn't belong here. Mount Court only has dogs."

"Someone must have snuck it in —"

"Then abandoned it."

"It looks starved."

Paige was thinking the same and wondering what could be done, when all eyes turned her way.

"We can't leave it here."

"It'll die, it's so little."

"That'd be cruel."

"You'll have to take it, Dr. Pfeiffer."

Paige pictured her overstuffed home. "I don't have room for a pet. I don't have time for one."

"Cats are easy. They take care of themselves."

"You keep it," Paige countered.

"We can't."

"It's against dorm rules."

Paige had coached at Mount Court long enough to know that breaking the rules was a way of life, and while she certainly didn't condone it, she was amused. "Against dorm rules? What else is new?"

"The Head, that's what."

"He's an asshole."

"Big time."

"He expelled two guys on the second day of school."

"For what?" Paige asked, overlooking foul language for the sake of goodwill.

"Smoking pot."

"There was no warning, nothing."

"He's totally anal."

"We're talking crack-down city —"

"No-no-Noah —"

"Mount Court Penitentiary."

Paige hadn't met the new Head yet and was picturing something with horns when the pleading resumed.

"Take the kitten, Dr. Pfeiffer."

"It'll die if you don't."

"Do you want that on your conscience?"

Paige stroked the tiny creature, which was little more than a handful of fur and bones, and trembling at that. "I'm being manipulated."

"It's for a good cause," one of the girls said.

Paige shot her a chiding look. "It's for a good cause" was what she always said when she pushed the girls for an extra campus loop. "But I don't know where to begin," she protested, a mistake if ever there was one because the words were barely out of her mouth when she was barraged with advice on food, litter, and housing. Ten minutes later she found herself in her car with the kitten in a cardboard box on the seat beside her.

"Only until I find it a home," she warned out the window as she drove off and, determined to do just that, headed straight into town. She pulled up at the police station, intent on presenting the kitten to the animal officer, but he was gone for the day. So she left him a note and tried the General Store. The family who owned it had cats. They had lots of cats. She didn't figure another would make a difference, especially one so tiny.

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Meet the Author

Barbara Delinsky, a lifelong New Englander, was a sociologist and photographer before she began to write. There are more than 30 million copies of her books in print.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Newton, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
August 9, 1945
Place of Birth:
Boston, Massachusetts
Education:
B.A. in Psychology, Tufts University, 1967; M.A. in Sociology, Boston College, 1969

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Suddenly 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Suddenly Barbara Delinsky Morrow, Apr 2008, $18.95 ISBN: 9780066214580 In Tucker, Vermont, pediatrician Mara O'Neill died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Her best friend and practice partner thirty-nine years old Dr. Paige Pfeiffer is stunned by the news. However, even more shocking to the pediatrician is when the autopsy reveals Valium in Mara¿s blood, the police rule most likely suicide. Paige refuses to believe that is true as her friend was euphoric over the adoption of a child from India. Pediatric practice partner Angie Bigelow feels Mara¿s death is the end of her once happy marriage to Peter Grace, who was having an affair with the deceased. Paige is in denial that her friend since college is dead. However, she honors Mara by caring for the Asian infant that the late doctor was adopting at the same time struggling with her desires for Noah Perrine, acting head of the private school where she coaches the Mount Court Academy¿s Girls Cross Country team. --- This is a reprint of an early 1990s character study. Ironically, Barbara Delinsky provides readers a deep look at Paige and to a lesser degree Angie but through them Mara. The story line makes a case that it takes a well rounded person to do a good job raising a child. Although the independent women SUDDENLY seem too dependent on men, fans will appreciate the deep look at each of the females as Mara¿s death cuts through them like a surgical knife in this entertaining fiction. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A real page turner. Very well written.
djgrtg More than 1 year ago
ANOTHER HIT! Love this author and this book was no disappointment. Great story about friendships and the secrets we keep.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As is usual with a Barbara Delinsky book, this one is a page turner. Even though it is a reprint, the topic is ageless. The story is good and the characters are likable. Mostly, it taught me that no matter how well you think you know someone or how long you have known them, there is usually something held back. Sometimes the revelations are shocking. Sometimes they bring forth a bit of guilt. ("If only I had known"). I would say a very good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story got better and better with each chapter. Liking this author alot....2nd book I have read from her in two weeks. Easy reading.
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Good summer, weekend read. Totally enjoyed it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book kept me interested from the first page until the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago