What does it mean to be a family? New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge's engaging new novel is a powerful adventure into the heart of marriage, motherhood, and four friends who discover they may be the best family they ever had.
Fifteen years after graduation, best friends Jay, Franny, Emerson, and Stevie meet at their college reunion. Life has taken each of them in different directions -- Jay is a married man with a baby on the way while Franny yearns for a child as she searches for love in all the wrong places. Divorced single mom Emerson is drawn to a man who challenges everything she's come to believe about finding a once-in-a-lifetime love. And Stevie's life has recently been rocked by a shocking revelation -- the answer to a family secret that will shatter everything she believes about herself.
Now the bond between the foursome takes a surprising twist, one that changes how each feels about family and friendship. One thing is certain: They will all find their heart's desires in the last place they imagine -- as they discover that family is less about blood ties than the warm embrace of ones who accept them as they are.
"Eileen Goudge writes like a house on fire, creating characters you come to love and hate to leave," praises Nora Roberts -- and nowhere do Goudge's bestselling storytelling talents shine brighter than in Immediate Family.
Fifteen years after graduation, four close college friends are dealing with family and romantic relationship issues. Entertainment news reporter Stevie is afraid to commit to Ryan, a documentary filmmaker who's crazy about her but is rapidly losing patience (her life only becomes more complicated when her hippie mother reveals that her father is a Seventies rock star believed to have been involved in an act of violence years earlier). Emerson is a publicist and divorced mom who falls for someone "unacceptable" in her dying-and still meddling-mother's social circle. Literary agent Franny has the proverbial ticking biological clock. And advertising executive Jay is married to the gorgeous and pregnant Vivienne, whose unorthodox suggestion will change her, Jay's, and Franny's lives forever. Goudge's (Otherwise Engaged) novel starts out with a bang and remains compelling thanks to the four interesting main characters and a few genuine surprises, but other developments are not so surprising. Recommended for public libraries.-Samantha J. Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 01, 2006
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Excerpt from Immediate Family by Eileen Goudge
"Looks like the gang's all here."
Stevie Light, all five feet two inches of her honing in like a heat-guided missile, managed to jostle her way to the front of the crowd, cameraman in tow, to where the director of the extended care facility, a stout, officious-looking gray-haired woman caught in the glare of a dozen on-board lights was announcing, above the cacophony of shouting voices, "We have no comment at this time, except to say that Miss Rose is doing fine! Her doctors will be briefing you at the press conference later today."
The story had come off the wires no more than an hour ago, and already the place was teeming with news crews and reporters, their vans double-parked along the curb. On the lawn out front, Kimberly Stevens, from KBLJ, was doing her live shot, kittenish blond hair fluttering in the breeze. A short distance away, Mark Esposito, from Live at Five, was powdering his nose while peering into a handheld mirror as he awaited his cue. Paparazzi were out in force as well, long-range lenses aimed like snipers' rifles at the third floor: the room where Lauren Rose lay newly risen from the coma she'd been in for the past twelve years.
An event nothing short of a miracle. What were the odds? Stevie wondered. Less than those of my ever finding my father.
She turned to her cameraman, but Matt was already heading off to scout for a location for her stand-up. With his scraggly hair and two-day-old beard, torn jeans and tattoos, Matt O'Brien might have been mistaken for a vaguely disreputable onlooker if not for the Betacam propped on one scrawny shoulder, but he was one of the best in the business.
Minutes later, freckled cheeks powdered and lips freshly glossed, she stood before the Betacam's lens as her cue came from the noon anchor, Charlie Karr, and she launched into her intro: "The stunning news came yesterday when doctors caring for Lauren Rose here at the Oak Hills long-term care facility, in Westwood, reported that their patient had emerged from the coma she'd been in for more than a decade. It was back in 1994 that Ms. Rose was a guest at the home of veteran rocker Grant Tobin, when the LAPD got a 911 call in the early hours of the morning saying a woman had been shot in the head. While paramedics labored to save Ms. Rose's life, Tobin was questioned but never charged in connection with the incident he called an accidental shooting, the exact cause of which was never officially determined. Tobin, best known for his chart-topping hits in the seventies with the group Astral Plane, has remained in seclusion ever since. More details on Ms. Rose's condition will become available when her doctors speak at a news conference set for later today. . . ."
Stevie remembered well the day of the shooting. It was her first week on the job at KNLA, fresh from KESQ in Palm Springs and still wet enough behind the ears to believe she'd be doing some real reporting, as opposed to covering water-main breaks and shopping-center openings. The media had gone wall to wall with coverage, news crews camping out in front of Grant Tobin's Holmby Hills estate for weeks on end, the tabloids trumpeting rumors of a lovers' quarrel gone awry and showing photos of Lauren, at the time a beautiful and promising young actress, in various cleavage-baring poses. But the publicity eventually died down when, after a lengthy investigation, no charges were filed.
Now this. It was unclear yet the extent to which Lauren could communicate, if at all. Only one thing was for sure: She was the only one besides Grant who knew what had happened that night. If she were to refute his version of the events, it could land him behind bars.