Writing in first person, Ms. Fielding takes the reader on Terry's journey, as she struggles through life without someone to love and care for. Interestingly, the empathy created from Terry's life takes a complete turn as the novel nears its conclusion. Though we're ostensibly reading Terry's thoughts, this author has a unique ability to create self-doubt in the reader, leaving her wondering if she has deciphered the true nature of the well crafted characters.

In Delray, Florida, 40-year-old nurse Terry Painter lives a solitary life. Never married, she rents out the cottage behind her home to supplement the funds she earns working at a nursing home. When Alison Simms comes to Terry's door seeking to rent the tiny cottage, the two form an instant bond.

What begins as a simple friendship becomes compounded by Alison's evasiveness and the intrusive nature of her friends, Denise and K.C. Though Terry believes Alison may be cunning, she is unwittingly drawn to the girl and her "brother" Lance. The turning point cleverly evolves when Terry's new-found relationship with Josh goes awry, and her introspective paranoia takes on an entirely different aspect.

(Aug., 307 pp., $25.00)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick