When it comes to love and family, the things you can't see are what matter most of all. Bestselling novelist Luanne Rice has inspired the devotion of readers everywhere with her "rare combination of realism and romance."(The New York Times Book Review) Now she presents her most magical novel to date, an entrancing story of love at first sight, the true meaning of family, and angels right here on earth. May Taylor works as a wedding planner, passing on the timeless traditions of her grandmother and mother. The Taylor women have always believed in the presence of magic in everyday life--especially the simple magic of true love and family. Yet May's own faith in true love was shattered when she was abandoned by the father of her child. Still, she finds joy in raising her daughter Kylie, a very special five-year-old who sees and hears things that others cannot. . . Martin Cartier is a professional hockey player and sports legend. His father, a champion, taught him to play to win--at all costs.
Few romance authors are able to portray the complex and contradictory emotions that bind family members as effortlessly as Rice (Firefly Beach, etc.), and in this enchanting, heartfelt tale, she showcases her considerable talent. Wedding planner May Taylor has suffered her share of life's blows. Both her parents died when she was young; her first love turned out to be married; and her six-year-old daughter, Kylie, claims to see angels. Nevertheless, May has managed to build a rewarding life for herself in Black Hall, Conn. When fate lands her on a plane with famed Boston Bruins hockey player Martin Cartier, she realizes how desperately she needs a soul mate and Kylie needs a father. The romance between May and Martin is swift but satisfying, and their lives seem almost perfect until Martin is forced to confront the ghosts of his past and the realization that he is going blind. Martin's blindness is symbolic of his lack of insight into his relationship with his father, Serge, a former hockey star who is serving hard time for gambling. Martin blames the older man for the accidental death of Martin's daughter, Natalie, and refuses to answer Serge's appeals. But the tragedy weighs heavily on Martin's conscience and, with May's guidance, he slowly learns to forgive and to have faith in those who love him. A warm and illuminating summer read, this poignant tale of love, loss and reconciliation will have readers hitting the bookstores on the way to the beaches. (July 3) Forecast: A national television and radio advertising campaign as well as print advertising in People, First for Women and USA Today will ensure that sales of Rice's newest will exceed its 75,000 initial print run. The book will also receive a boost from the television adaptation of Rice's Follow the Stars Home (which will air in May) and the May release of Firefly Beach (Forecasts, Apr. 16). Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 27, 2002
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Excerpt from Summer Light by Luanne Rice
The plane was crowded. As the passengers boarded, the flight attendant announced that every seat would be required, that people should stow all their belongings in the overhead bins or under the seats in front of them. May Taylor made sure her and Kylie's bags were out of the way, that Kylie knew she had to stay in her place and not bother the businessman in the aisle seat.
Takeoff was smooth, and the plane climbed through thin gray clouds into the brilliant blue. Until this year, May hadn't flown much -- she had never had much reason. But Kylie's doctor in Boston had recommended that Kylie take part in a study at Twigg University in Toronto, with a group of psychologists focusing on clairvoyance and personality disorders.
May and Kylie lived with May's great-aunt in an old farmhouse on the Connecticut shoreline. May loved her daughter more than anything, but as she looked around the plane, she couldn't help noticing all the couples. The white-haired couple sharing the newspaper; the young professionals in his-and-her suits, talking on cell phones; two parents with their teenaged kids across the aisle.
May stared at the parents for a few minutes, wondering how it would feel to have someone to share the care of Kylie with: to travel with, laugh with, worry with. She watched the woman bend toward her husband, her hair brushing his shoulder as she whispered in his ear. His lips turned up in a wide smile, and he bowed his head, nodding in agreement.
May suddenly felt as if she'd swallowed a fishbone, and she quickly looked down. She had a sheaf of papers from Dr. Ben Whitpen at the Twigg University Department of Psychology to read, reports and observations and recommendations, all pertaining to Kylie. Upon landing at Logan, she would take them to Kylie's doctor on Barkman Street. After that, the long drive home to Connecticut lay ahead. She stared at the letterhead, at the confusing and worrisome words swimming together, and the ache in her throat grew worse.
"Mom " Kylie asked.
"What, honey "
Thinking Kylie meant the passenger sitting next to her, May immediately leaned close to Kylie's ear. When Kylie got involved with people, they sometimes got upset. And May could tell by the man's expensive suit, his heavy gold watch, and the fancy briefcase he'd placed in front of Kylie instead of his own seat, that he was one of the ones who might get upset.
"The man's working," May whispered. "Don't bother him."
"No," Kylie whispered back, shaking her head. "In the special compartment -- really big men. Are they giants "