It’s hard to believe that Barbara Delinsky, who “delves deeper into the human heart…with each new novel” (The Cincinatti Inquirer) was kicked out of Honors English because she couldn’t keep up! Now, it’s hard to keep up with the number of novels she’s written since her first book, Three Wishes, was published. From An Accidental Woman, the story of a woman facing her past demons to The Secret Between Us, the poigant tale of a lie gone wrong, Delinksy’s emotionally riveting novels resonate with her legions of fans. A breast cancer survivor, Delinsky published Uplift: Secrets From the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors in 2001, donating all proceeds to research.
Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat, thinking that you’ve taken a wrong turn and are stuck in a life you don’t want? Did you ever consider hitting the brakes, backing up, and heading elsewhere?
How about disappearing—leaving family, friends, even a spouse—ditching everything you’ve known and starting over again. Reinventing yourself. Rediscovering yourself. Maybe, just maybe, returning to an old lover. Have you ever dreamed about this?
No. Me, neither. No dream, no plan.
It was just another Friday. I awoke at 6:10 to the blare of the radio, and hit the button to silence it. I didn’t need talk of politics to knot up my stomach, when the thought of going to work did that all on its own. It didn’t help that my husband, already long gone, texted me at 6:15, knowing I’d have my BlackBerry with me in the bathroom.
Can’t make dinner tonight. Sorry.
I was stunned. The dinner in question, which had been on our calendar for weeks, involved senior partners at my ﬁrm. It was important that James be there with me.
OMG, I typed. Why not?
I received his reply seconds before stepping into the shower. Gotta work late, he said, and how could I argue? We were both lawyers, seven years out of law school. We had talked about working our tails off now to pay our dues, and I had been in total agreement at ﬁ rst. Lately, though, we had seen little of each other, and it was getting worse. When I pointed this out to James, he got a helpless look in his eyes, like, What can I do?
I tried to relax under the hot spray, but I kept arguing aloud that there were things we could do if we wanted to be together—that love should trump work—that we had to make changes before we had kids, or what was the point—that my coyote dreams had begun when I started getting letters from Jude Bell, and though I stuffed those letters under the bed and out of sight, a tiny part of me knew they were there.
I had barely left the shower when my BlackBerry dinged again. No surprise. My boss, Walter Burbridge, always e-mailed at 6:30.
Client wants an update, he wrote. Can you do it by ten?
Here’s a little background. I used to be an idealist. Starting law school, I had dreamed of defending innocent people against corporate wrongdoing, and by graduation was itching to be involved in an honest-to-goodness class action lawsuit. Now I am. Only I’m the bad guy. The case on which I work involves a company that produces bottled water that was tainted enough to cause irreparable harm to a frightening number of people. The company has agreed to compensate the victims. My job is to determine how many, how sick, and how little we can get away with doling out, and I don’t work alone.
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