Tucker made an impressive debut
last year with her heart-tugging The Song Reader. This time around, she falls short with a tale about a woman who finally breaks free of an abusive relationship—just a little too late.Tucker's writing style is smooth, and the tale, overall, is entertaining,
even gripping near the novel's climax. Unfortunately, the author's attempt to write Patty as a woman who is finally becoming not simply independent
and mature but feisty and courageous just falls flat. Patty is a passive heroine who simply reacts to her environment and never really finds the gumption that the most memorable heroines possess.

Patty Taylor is a poor single mom touring Midwestern dives and hole-in-the-wall bars as the lead vocalist of a second-rate band. The other band members (all men) see her as just a pretty face foisted on the group by their mutual manager. Patty silently suffers their constant criticism and ostracism to provide for her 2-year-old son, Willie, the love of her life.

Unfortunately, Willie's father, Rick, a good-looking but good-for-nothing drug dealer, has just been paroled from prison and tracks them down, determined to get his family back.

(Apr., 320 pp., $13.00)
Reviewed by: 
Tara Gelsomino