CELEBRATION is one of Fern Michaels most engaging novels. The premise is very intriguing; however, I had some difficulty feeling much sympathy for the heroine whose prolonged unwillingness to face facts or make emotional decisions left me feeling a bit frustrated.

Kristine Summers moved from being blindly obedient to her parents to following this same behavior pattern with her childhood sweetheart turned husband, Logan Kelly. After 20 years of marriage and three kids, all while following the military life, Kristine's world is shattered when Logan mysteriously disappears with eight million dollars of Kristine's inheritance.

Logan planned his departure very carefully he quit the military, shipped Kristine and the kids back to the states, then took the money and ran. Despite all the evidence pointing to his deceit and betrayal, Kristine refuses to accept the truth. Her teenage children hate their father and despise their mother for her inability to perceive the physical abuse they suffered at their fathers hands.

When her children abandon her by moving out and heading off to college, Kristine is forced to confront the disaster her life has become. Turning to alcohol, Kristine hits rock bottom before banker and neighbor Aaron Dunwoodie steps in to help straighten her out. With Aaron's help and support, for the first time Kristine sees hope on the horizon, and she might even restart the championship dog breeding program her parents once ran. But will she ever be able to truly let go of the past and start again? Unfortunately for all, Logan's presence or lack thereof hangs like a Damocles sword over all their heads. (Jan., 368 pp, $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith