One major thematic element is that people can change. Even Joe endures
rigorous counseling to resolve his abusive behavior. Filled with hope, this novel's emotionally charged plot delivers a read that is as memorable as it is moving.

Glen Oaks, New York, has little to recommend except a well-known racetrack. Bored with small-town life and ignored by their families, a group of friends form a gang, the Outlaws. Margo and Linc, Annie and Joe, and Beth and Danny decide to burglarize the local diner. But when all except nonparticipant Annie are caught, they're forced to end a life of crime.

Almost 30 years later, Linc is a minister in the community, while Margo lives in the city. Danny realized his dream of race-car driving, only to die in a tragic accident, leaving behind Beth and their troubled teenager, Ron. And Annie and Joe are divorced after years of spousal abuse at his hands.

(Mar., 400 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick