Image of Happiness Key


Image of Happiness Key

The usual Richards qualities -- well-defined characters and conflict, nice touches of humor and romance -- are
all present, but this story lacks the oomph of some of her other work.
It's enjoyable all the same, though.

Divorced, Tracy Deloche has just 25 acres of Gulf Coast beach left, and five crumbling cabins standing on it. She lives in one and rents the others to a diverse group of tenants: Herb Krause, an elderly man no one knows well; Janya Kapur, who fled a scandal in India to come to America and marry a stranger; Wanda Gray, a waitress whose marriage is on the rocks, though her cop husband doesn't seem to notice; and Alice Brooks, an elderly widow suffering from dementia, according to her son-in-law.

Everything changes when Tracy finds Herb dead. He doesn't seem to have family or friends, but Tracy's determined to find someone who cares. Her search unites Tracy with the other three women and brings her to the realization that she'll never get her old life back -- but maybe that's not such a bad thing. (MIRA, Jul., 544 pp., $13.95)

Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer