New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice made her triumphant debut with this delicately drawn but emotionally powerful portrait of a woman's extraordinary journey of the heart and soul-a timeless story of love, sisterhood, and the hope that emerges even out of heartbreak.... Una Cavan doesn't believe in ghosts. But ghosts seem to believe in her. At least, her father's ghost does, walking into and out of her life as casually as if he were entering and exiting a room. Una has always believed the Cavan women had the power of witches, and from the beaches of Connecticut to the bustle of New York City they've shared the special unbreakable bond of sisters. No man has been able to come between them...until Lily marries the "perfect" man and begins to drift away and Margo gets engaged. With another failed relationship behind her, and a thriving career as an actress ahead of her, Una wonders if she's destined to be alone-or if there isn't something more, something magical that life has in store for her.
This appealing first novel explores the emotional growth of three sisters as they fall in love, marry, and struggle with changing loyalties. Una, the eldest, narrates the story. She is an actress in a popular daytime soap; the others are art history students. The youngest sister is first to marry. Her husband is a wealthy and possessive doctor, jealous of her affection for her sisters. The middle sister finds a mate also, and Una first experiences an unsatisfactory romance, then truly believes she has fallen in love. Her new love is tested by a promotional tour to Europe and a starring role in a movie. Occasional visits from their father's ghost provide a sort of moral commentary. This is a thoroughly modern romance, humorous and well written. Recommended for public libraries. Margaret B. Allen, M.L.S., formerly with Bennington Free Lib., Vt. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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January 29, 2007
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Excerpt from Angels All over Town by Luanne Rice
The problem was not that I believed in ghosts. I did not believe in ghosts, but I was visited by one. I could not deny it. When I least expected to, I would see my father, solid of body, curly of hair, in true corporeal splendor, even though he had died months earlier. Once I saw him across the floor at the Rose Room in the Algonquin Hotel. I spotted him from behind. He was dining with two other men, and his graying golden-brown hair looked as springy as ever. I made no attempt to speak to him. I sat in my seat, not eating my chef's salad, watching his familiar movements: the way he drank his martini, smoked his cigarette, gestured expansively. I guessed that he was trying to sell some land to his table companions. I had no doubt that he would pick up the tab.
The next time I saw him was at the apartment I shared with my sisters in Newport. It was a small, dingy, second-floor walkup, made cool by a breeze off the harbor. One close August morning Lily and Margaret had left for the boatyard where they worked, and I had just finished another cup of coffee. I grabbed an old Redbook and headed for the bathroom. There I found my father, seated on the toilet, reading the New York Daily News.
"Oh, I'm sorry," I said, backing out and slamming the door behind me.
"Hang on a sec, I'm almost through," he called. My heart was racing, but from embarrassment, not shock. I did not ask myself how my father, a man who had died wearing two colostomy bags, could be taking a normal shit. Nor did I wonder why he was reading the Daily News, a tabloid he had considered vulgar in life, and which, besides, was not readily available in Newport. I just sat at the kitchen table and waited.
Presently he flushed the toilet and opened the door. He wore a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of faded madras shorts. Now that detail shocked me: he had pale, bony, freckled legs covered with curly reddish hair, and I had never seen him wear shorts.
"Sweetheart," he said, opening his arms to embrace me.