U.N. interpreter Ellie Peters fears that life as she knows it is about to end. On the same day that her tightly strung, obsessive-compulsive mother, Rosemary, turns up on her doorstep, announcing that she's left Ellie's father, Ellie also discovers that her ex-fiancé, Michael, has just become her new boss.

Commitment-phobic Michael is still attracted to Ellie, but this time Ellie swears she will not get sucked in. Besides, her parents' potential breakup is currently the most press- ing issue on her plate.

Living with her mother is threaten-ing Ellie's sanity. But, to Ellie's shock, Rosemary is blossoming on her own. What's a girl to do?

Body Language is filled with a variety of interesting family-and-friend relationships that fan out from Ellie. But oddly enough, the character who develops the most is Rosemary.

Readers expecting a strong romance from this seasoned author, however, will be disappointed. Criswell's first foray into chick lit is a notable effort, but seemingly important scenes take place off the page, and the style can be choppy at times. (Nov., 384 pp., $6.50)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith