Up until five years ago, schoolteacher Annie Bolles considered herself a fair athlete and a very active individual. Then one day, Annies legs would not function properly. After reams of testing, Annie learns she has developed Multiple Sclerosis. Her life suddenly changes before her eyes.

Annies straightforward and loving mother Norma proves to be a veritable rock. Learning to live, work and cope with her disease has taken a great deal of Annies energy. Men have basically fallen off her radar; that is until the day she meets Joseph D. Malone in a photo gallery.

Joe is a businessman who helps run the family airline. He is also a gifted photographer and it is his pictures that first catch Annies eye. Both Annie and Joe feel an instant attraction, but Annie backs away. Joe remains on her mind, however, and no question that there is intense chemistry between Annie and Joe, but both have emotional scars and baggage. Are they strong enough to try and build a future?

OUT OF THE BLUE is a genuinely poignant and superb story of complex people facing some of lifes tough decisions. Ms. Mandel displays a remarkable insight into the human psyche and also manages to deliver a vastly entertaining and emotional novel. (Mar., 304 pp., $23.00)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith