For 25 years, Tommy Lee and Molly Collier Hayes have lived, loved and raised three children. On the eve of their Silver Anniversary, neither is happy, but they can't articulate what's wrong. Molly finally reaches a breaking point and leaves Tommy Lee.

Molly heads over to Aunt Hestie's house, a place on her mother's property the Collier women have always used as a retreat. Both their families and the town are surprised by Tommy Lee and Molly's separation. It devastates their oldest child Savannah, very pregnant with her first child, while the boys are more philosophical. Molly's sisters rally around her, offering advice and comfort.

Sam Ketchum has been Tommy Lee's best friend for years...and has also loved Molly. After watching them tear at each other, Sam finally feels free to reveal his feelings. Molly, though flattered and surprised by Sam's sudden interest, still loves Tommy Lee.

Circumstances forced Tommy Lee and Molly to marry very young; would they still make the same choice today? If Tommy Lee wants to save his marriage, a long overdue courtship may be due.

This tender story of passionate love and family devotion is a splendid example of Ms. Matlock's ability to look deep into the soul of individuals and celebrate their strengths and foibles. Wonderful! (Feb., 384 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith