Believable relationships between down-to-earth characters make the reader feel as if she knows each personally. Kelly's writing places her on par with the incomparable Maeve Binchy.

Hope Parker struggles to maintain that careful balance between career woman, mother and wife, but fears her preoccupied husband, Matt, is having an affair. She's relieved to discover that he wants to move from their home in Bath, England, to rural Redlion, Ireland, for a year, where he can work on a novel.

Although Ireland is not the picturesque idyll that Matt painted, Hope makes some friends in the village, despite Matt's moodiness and lengthy absences to England. Mary-Kate, the pharmacist, her niece Delphine and Virginia, a recently widowed grandmother, become Hope's support group when her life goes awry after several disastrous encounters with the town hunk.

(July, 528 pp., $26.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick