When 52-year-old Maggie Rockford announces that she's pregnant by her much-younger lover, she expects her three best friends to be happy for her. The response she gets instead is upsetting, especially from Nicki, the one she's closest to. Misconceptions on both sides lead to hard feelings, jeopardizing the relationship.

Alice and Stella, who are both going through difficult phases in their own lives, feel powerless to rectify the situation. It's not improved by the reappearance of Maggie's ex-husband, Dan—the man she really wanted to have a child with.

In less skilled hands, NOW OR NEVER might have been melodramatic, but Jordan keeps a firm hold on all of the story's highly emotional threads, ultimately bringing things to a satisfying, if slightly abrupt, conclusion. (Dec., 448 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer