After discovering that her husband Colin was having an affair, Brooke Valentine gives him another chance. But Colin soon falls back on old habits, and to add insult to injury, Brooke gets downsized from her job.

Brooke takes her 13-year-old daughter, Sophie, home to Alcott, N.H., to nurse her wounds and attend her sister's wedding. She meets up with her old high school buddies, each of whom is also facing life-changing decisions.

Sara Kemper has finally gotten the courage to take her son and leave her abusive husband, and high-flying Claudia Reynolds may have finally met her match in the love department.

Adding to Brooke's pressures is psychiatrist Dr. Mackenzie Elliot. After meeting him, she discovers that her emotions are not nearly as frozen as she assumed.

Insightful author Steffen follows up her earlier novel, Come Summer, with more emotional adventures in Alcott. Steffen is one of those authors whose characters and their emotions ring true, which makes each book a heartfelt treat. (Jan., 320 pp., $6.50)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith