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Four childhood friends must relinquish cherished memories of the past to embrace the painful truth that will change their lives forever after one of them endures a near-fatal crash.
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Overview

Four childhood friends must relinquish cherished memories of the past to embrace the painful truth that will change their lives forever after one of them endures a near-fatal crash.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Coming together for a wedding, four friends share memories of childhood in Michaels's Vegas Sunrise unevenly plotted latest romance novel, set in South Carolina. Blonde Southern belle Callie Parker is to wed arrogant Wynfield Archer, with her childhood friends in attendance: Brie Canfield, San Diego cop and prospective FBI agent; Sela Bronson, interior designer and recent divorc e; and attorney Bode Jessup. Bode became Callie's foster brother when her father brought him home from an orphanage and made him promise to make sure Callie got what she wanted, always. Brie and Sela were "white trash" local girls brought in daily as playmates to form the rest of Callie's adoring court. Mama Pearl, an aging black woman employed at Parker Manor, lovingly cared for the poor waifs, but she also reinforced Callie's princess complex. Now, emotional turmoils rise to the surface when Bode evades attending Callie's wedding. Is Bode in love with Callie? The question fades in the wake of a car crash that leaves Callie comatose, an accident caused and covered up by an inebriated Wyn on the way to their wedding rehearsal. Brie explores her memories and her feelings for Bode, and maudlin nostalgia runs rampant as each character bemoans the perfection of "yesterday," leaving the reader to wonder why someone didn't slap silly Callie years ago. Stereotypes abound: Sela's a tramp with a heart of gold; Callie is a prima donna; and Mama Pearl is Mammy from Gone with the Wind. Michaels stirs up love-drama between the old friends and wangles revelations out of Mama Pearl about Bode and Callie's secret origins and racial heritage. Many disillusionments, impassioned tears and tearful confessions later, the puzzle pieces fall predictably in place. Oct. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Michaels, a prolific and erratic writer, presents one of her lesser efforts here, a confusing story about class and race in South Carolina. An automobile accident on the eve of her wedding leaves Callie Parker in a coma. Her three childhood friends--Bode, Brie, and Sela--gather to try to unravel the tangle of secrets and lies that this event has revealed. It seems that their revered princess has clay feet. Presiding over all is the ancient, ageless black woman Mama Pearl, whose life has revolved around "Miss Callie." The writing is very detached, with no sense of involvement, but what is worse is the teeth-clenching narration by Laural Merlington. The fake Southern accents coupled with the piping children's falsetto in the flashbacks jar the listener almost as much as the stupid plot twists (Bode is black? When did that happen?). Then, of course, there is the producer's trademark speed--get as much as possible on the least number of tapes even if the narrator has to rush all the dramatic fences. Libraries should pass on this one. Not recommended.--Barbara Perkins, Irving P.L., TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
Paralyzingly prolific romancer Michaels has her ups and downs, from the total nonsense of Finders Keepers (1998) to the exemplary plotting of Celebration (p. 103), in which a wealthy woman's husband flees with her bank account after a 20-year marriage, only to return years later with a sob story but minus the eight million he ran off with. This latest finds the author working in her wildly unlikely mode, with a big mix of mind-bending plot turns. Callie Parker has been raised on a South Carolina plantation by her wealthy father, Clemson. During her childhood and adolescence, Dad and Mama Pearl helped Callie gather three close friends to bond with: the illegitimate orphan Bode Jessup, a kind of brother and idol for Callie; Brie Canfield, whose heart leaps when Clemson takes her in as Callie's playmate; and Sela Bronson, a poor girl famished for love and grateful for every attention from the Parker family. Comes the day of Callie's wedding to supremely wealthy Wyn Archer, promising a future afloat on every possible luxury. But the night before the ceremony, an auto accident caused by Wyn's careless driving puts Callie into a coma—and from the vortex of the coma will rise many "family" secrets of parentage involving the bride-to-be and her friends. Bubble upon breaking bubble as the suds pop. Strictly for the fans.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821776780
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 460
  • Product dimensions: 4.38 (w) x 6.76 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Fern Michaels
FERN MICHAELS is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood series, Mr. and Miss Anonymous, Up Close and Personal, and dozens of other novels and novellas. There are over seventy million copies of her books in print. Fern Michaels has built and funded several large day-care centers in her hometown, and is apassionate animal lover who has outfitted police dogs across the country with special bulletproof vests. She shares her home in South Carolina with her four dogs and a resident ghost named Mary Margaret.

Biography

Born Mary Ruth Kuczkir in Hastings, Pennsylvania, Fern Michaels was married and the mother of five before she embarked on her long, successful writing career – a career that began with something midway between a challenge and a command. When her youngest child went off to kindergarten, Michaels's husband imperiously ordered her (in just so many words) to get off her ass and get a job. Long years in the domestic trenches had left her short on marketable skills, so she decided trade off her lifelong love of reading and write a book. Just like that. The domineering, unsupportive husband is history. And Michaels has gone on to pen bestselling romance after bestselling romance. Just like that..

With typical modesty, Michaels does not claim to be a great writer; however, she admits proudly to being a born storyteller. Her bulging bookshelf proves she is all over the map, producing with equal facility hot historicals, lighthearted contemporary capers, adrenaline-laced thrillers, and heartwarming tales of family and friendship. She is especially adept at writing stories about women who prevail in hard times – a reflection, perhaps, of her own struggles in her marriage and early career.

Raised to believe that the fortunate in life have an obligation to give back, Michaels devotes a lot of time to philanthropic concerns. She has established a foundation that grants four-year scholarships to needy students and has set up pre-schools and daycare centers for single mothers. She is also an avid animal lover and has been known to own as many as five dogs at a time.

In 1993, Michaels picked up stakes and moved from her home in New Jersey to a 300-year-old plantation house in Charleston, South Carolina. She and the dogs share the house amicably with a friendly ghost whom Fern has dubbed Mary Margaret. In addition to stopping clocks and moving pillows from room to room, Mary Margaret has been known to occasionally leave flowers on Michaels's nightstand!

Good To Know

Michaels confesses in our interview: "I'm a junk food junkie and a chocoholic. My desk drawers have more junk food in them than paper and pens. I chomp and chew all day long. At night I get up and eat Marshmallow Fluff right out of the jar. In between eating, I write."

Her first "sort of, kind of job" was in market research. Michaels recounts the gig's low-point in our interview: "I had a partner and we were testing a new pressurized drain cleaner. All you had to do was put this can in the drain, squeeze and supposedly the drain would open right up. It did, all right.

"The whole wall collapsed, and stuff that was in there for a hundred years flew everywhere. The lady didn't tell us the drain backed up to her kitchen drain and disposal. The company didn't care that we smelled like a sewer or that our clothes were ruined. The lady got a new bathroom, and we both got fired."

Michaels reveals some of her sources of inspiration: "Inspiration comes from everywhere. The title for Finders Keepers came from a cartoon with two chipmunks that my grandson was watching. I had a title but no story. I finally came up with one to fit that wonderful title.

"Names for characters sometime come from television. I had a character named Metaxis which is odd to begin with. There is a news anchor on T.V. who has that same last name. Sometimes it will just be a word someone says in passing, something I read or saw. There's no rhyme or reason to it. It's almost like, okay, I need something here, stay alert and it will happen."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mary Kuczkir
    2. Hometown:
      Summerville, South Carolina
    1. Education:
      High School

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2012

    Great Read !

    Wow, I loved this book,like many of Fern Michaels books I have read it grabs your attention right from the beginning and keeps it all the way to the end..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    A DISAPPOINTMENT

    This book for me was a letdown. I have always enjoyed Fern Michaels books, but this one just wasn't believable. First of all, Bode doesn't notice he isn't black and Callie doesn't notice she is black? I don't think so. Who would allow someone to lay in bed and just die like Mama Pearl did without getting her whatever treatment they could. None of them even attempted to do anything. Not believable in this day and age. Also, it was very confusing about who loved who. Looking forward to the NEXT Fern book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2005

    Check Out At The Library

    I would have given the book two stars had it not been for the character Mama Pearl. She was the only character worth sympathizing with. Plus, despite my misgivings about the characters in the book (see below), I did enjoy the storyline. In a work of fiction I don't normally require every aspect of the book to be believable but there should be some modicum of plausibility in it. The four young characters did not seem to be life long friends. Callie's character seemed to head in different directions. At first she simply seemed a little capricious and self centered but who doesn't have faults? But she then made a transformation that was quite horrific and any humanity she had at the begining was quickly stripped from her. Sela's character was underdeveloped and she seemed an afterthought. I never really developed a sense of who she was. Although Brie's character was a bit more developed, it did not make her more sympathetic. And finally Bode, in the author's quest to make him a perfect man, she left out his personality. These four characters were supposed to be best friends and yet they are forever jealous of one another and make the snidest remarks. True, friends often fight and are seldom always in awe of each other, but I didn't get the sense that these girls were friends at all and that they regretted their spiteful words to each other. All in all it was a book that left me disappointed. Still, it wasn't terrible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2001

    A Huge Let-Down

    I was really looking forward to reading this book, since I loved Fern Michaels' 'Finders Keepers'. This story line was good and I loved Mama Pearl, but I thought that the 3 girlfriends were so immature, always saying they hated eachother, and even dancing in the mud! And I found it terribly unbelievable that Callie and Bode were of mixed races, and didn't have a clue about it! Crazy.... (at least Bode got one of them!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2000

    Great Read

    This book was great. It, however, was somewhat predictable. I really loved Mama Pearl. Everyone should have someone like her in thier lives. Even though Calli, Brie, Sela, and Bode were supposed to be friends, you would have thought they were the worst of enemies at times! I also find it pretty hard to believe who Calli and Bode REALLY are. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable to read.

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