Emilie Richards gives her fans a wonderful companion book to her first reincarnation novel, Once More With Feeling. You will smile and root for the indomitable Mary Kate as she faces her uncertain voyage of self-discovery.

Before the attack that nearly killed her, people in Shandly Falls, Ohio, considered Mary Kate McKenzie a kind, gentle, almost saintly young woman. When she recovers from the head trauma she suffered at the hand of a troubled teenager, Mary Kate can remember nothing of her past. She also chafes under the feeling of not quite belonging in her body. The "new" Mary Kate has very unsaintly desires.

Former TV journalist Charles Casey is starting a new life for himself as the managing editor of Shandly Falls local paper, The Cricket. When Casey visits Eden's Gate Ecology Center and the Sisters of Redemption, he finds himself fascinated by the prickly Mary Kate. For some illogical reason, at times she vaguely reminds him of his deceased former lover Gypsy Dugan.

The Eden's Gate property was owned by Mary Kate's aunt, who left it to the Sisters and their good works. For years, Mary Kate assisted the Sisters in their work with troubled teenagers. Everyone tells Mary Kate that she was always calm and understanding, now all she wants to do is give some of these kids a good kick in the butt. Another disturbing fact is that none of the memory flashes she experiences seem related to Mary Kate's life. The new Mary Kate knows that she cannot continue in the old patterns, she must make a new life for herself. Only Casey who didn't know the "old" Mary Kate seems to understand and appreciate her dilemma. Life deals Mary Kate another unexpected blow when she discovers that she is pregnant. Who could have gotten the saintly Mary Kate pregnant? And why doesn't the prospective father come forward? The "new" Mary Kate has some big decisions to make.

(Nov., 384 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith