What You Wish For A Novel of Suspenseby Janet Dawson
History professor Lindsey Page has a quiet, well-ordered life, but it's about to get complicated. Her daughter, with whom she has a troubled relationship, shows up on her doorstep. The immigrant woman Lindsey is interviewing for a book asks her for help in reclaiming the son taken from her during a massacre in her Salvadoran village. And her closest friends, the three… See more details below
History professor Lindsey Page has a quiet, well-ordered life, but it's about to get complicated. Her daughter, with whom she has a troubled relationship, shows up on her doorstep. The immigrant woman Lindsey is interviewing for a book asks her for help in reclaiming the son taken from her during a massacre in her Salvadoran village. And her closest friends, the three women Lindsey has known since their college days in Berkeley where they witnessed the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, are hiding secrets that will forever change those friendships.
Lindsey must grapple with questions of family identity, nature vs. nurture, truth in wartime, the ethics of power for latter-day robber barons in the US and Central America, and the law of unforeseen consequences. Moving back and forth from the 1970s to the present, from the San Francisco Bay Area to El Salvador this sprawling saga follows Lindsey, her friends, and family through tumultuous political, social, and cultural changes and choices.
"... strong and believable characters..." -- Earlene Fowler, Spider Web
- Daniel, John & Company, Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
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Lindsey Page, first introduced to readers by this author as a friend of the protagonist PI Jeri Howard in “Witness to Evil,” one of ten books in that series, returns here as one of four women, friends since their college days in Berkeley, California, around whom thestory revolves. Lindsey is a historian who usually writes about the 19th century American west, but whose current work-in-progress was a study of Latin American women who had emigrated to the US as a result of wars and upheavals in their native countries. One of her interviewees is a Salvadoran woman who begs Lindsey to help her find her son, taken from her at the age of two in the midst of a horrendous attack which destroyed her village and slaughtered most of its inhabitants. The friendship of Lindsey, Gretchen, Claire and Annabel was forged when they lived in the same house while attending college. Gretchen (whose oldest child, now ready to start college, was an adoptee) has been working with an adoptive parents organization. She and Claire are cousins, both on the board of a corporation founded by their fathers Equal parts family rifts, corporate intrigue and power plays, as well as images of a war-torn and strife-ridden foreign landscape, the book, which starts out fairly slowly as the groundwork is laid with details of each of the women’s backgrounds and the path of their friendship over the years, till the pace picks up, as does the suspense, when the frequent flashbacks to Berkeley in the ‘70’s and El Salvador in the late ‘80’s fill in gaps in the narrative. Although coincidence initially strained credulity somewhat, that soon fades as the reader is pulled along into the story. Dual themes have to do with the past that comes back to haunt one in later years, as well as the one implied by the title: Be careful what you wish for: you might not be happy with the result. Parenthetically, I loved the author’s tip of the hat to a fellow mystery writer, Gary Niebuhr, here a retired police detective, as well as a mention of a favorite song of one character [and mine as well], Dave Brubeck’s Take Five. A thoroughly enjoyable novel, “What You Wish For” is recommended.