Colley spins a sprawling yarn about three generations of women married to soldiers, certainly timely in its way. But many of the characters are stereotypes, and the only one who really engages the reader is Rachel herself.

After a Depression-era childhood, Rachel Thompson marries Tim Davis to escape her abusive father and never looks back -- even when Tim is called to serve in World War II and she's left with his family. When Tim returns home and is killed in an accident, Rachel goes to work for wealthy businessman Jon Williams. Learning that she's pregnant doesn't faze Jon; he insists on marrying Rachel and raises her daughter Liz as a sister to his son, J.J.

It's a happy marriage, despite its beginnings, lasting well into their middle age -- which is when the true test comes: A woman comes forward, accusing Jon of wartime espionage. Has their life together been based on a lie? (HARLEQUIN, Jan., 448 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer