Ground-breaking author Constance O'Day-Flannery charts another new course in her latest contemporary release, SUNSETS. For the last 40 years, Eve Cameron and Ruthann Buckmun have been the best and closest of friends. Now in their twilight years, they look back and reminisce on the best and worst period of their lives, which ironically turns out to be the same year, 1996.

1996 is the year newly divorced Ruthann finds herself in such dire financial straits that she is homeless and nearly starving. It is also the year that Eve Cameron's life falls apart. Devastated by the loss of her beloved young son Jamie to leukemia, Eve's marriage is also on the rocks. The final blow comes when a scandal involving a number of prominent men in the town of Chelsea erupts. It seems that while these good Samaritans were making their annual trip to help an orphanage in Guatemala, they were also setting up mistresses and fathering children.

A chance meeting in a parking lot becomes the basis for a friendship that will literally save the lives of both women. On impulse, following her divorce, Eve decides to buy a run-down Victorian home just outside town. Insisting that she needs Ruthann's help, they move in and hire contractor Mitch Larkin to restore their new home.

A man who knows a good thing when he sees it, Mitch is quickly captivated by Ruthann. The pain from her past makes Ruthann hesitant to reach out and grab this new chance at happiness. Still reeling from the loss of Jamie, Eve's new mission becomes the chance to meet and bond with Jamie's orphaned four-year-old half-brother Paulo. Her uncompromising quest will bring Eve both great sorrow and great joy.

SUNSETS is an incredibly poignant novel that is guaranteed to bring a tear to your eyes and warmth to your heart. (Sept., 416 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith