Terrified of losing her son, Rachel Mason seeks out the counsel of a well-known attorney. Accused of adultery, she must prove her innocence or give up custody of her child. Agreeing to take the case, her lawyer orders her to write her side of the story.

And so begins the diary-like tale of a girls journey through adolescence into womanhood as she loves first one man and then another.

Marrying the second, Seth Trahern, makes Rachel feel happy and safe. Yet, on the day she plans to tell her husband a special secret, her first love returns and forces her into his arms.

When Seth finds Rachel with her first love he is devastated. He wont listen to her and provides a stand-away, a preliminary divorce.

Now, separated and desperate, Rachel has no choice but to take the name of the man who has ruined her happiness. Five years later she returns to her fathers side, her second husband having deserted her.

When Seth learns Rachels child is his he sues for custody. He too must write his story and then go to trial where the ultimate truths cannot be hidden from hearts that refuse to hate.

In her debut, Ms. Reid has gifted readers with an exceptionally well-told tale of divorce and separation. Ms. Reids characters are at once endearing and admirable. Rachels painful struggle is moving and thought provoking, and her story will touch the emotions of many modern women. SWEET (Dec., 377 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Anne Black