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Welcome to Glenhaven Park, New York, a leafy, well-heeled suburb of New York City.
New in town? So is my heroine, Meg Addams—well, not really. Meg grew up in a brick Tudor over on North Street, back when most local homeowners were teachers and plumbers, secretaries and housewives. But her childhood home just sold for seven figures, and the town is now populated by harried, briefcase-toting commuters, stroller-pushing yoga moms, toddlers already wait-listed for the finest prep schools, and trust fund teens driving cars with sticker prices equivalent to a few years’ worth of their future Ivy League tuition.
Allow me to show you around. This is the tree-shaded, brick-path-lined village green. Charming, isn’t it? This is Main Street, where the mom and pop shops of Meg’s childhood have been replaced by upscale boutiques. Also charming; as are the nature preserve and stone-walled estates just beyond the town’s perimeter.
Oh, here’s a less charming sight: check out that vintage (read: decrepit) Victorian formerly known as the old Duckworth place. See it? It’s the one with the moving van parked out front. The neighborhood kids always considered it haunted. Prospective homebuyers must, too, because it’s been sitting on the market for quite some time. Alas, it’s the only local real estate that has an asking price within Meg’s price range—so guess who’s moving in? That’s right, our heroine and her teenaged daughter, Cosette (she’s the goth kid dressed in black, rolling her eyes at … well, everything), along with their diva cat, Chita Rivera.
Over there, across the side-yard fence, is the comfortable home of Sam Rooney. The sexy, strapping widowed dad has his hands full raising a his kids, teaching high school physics, coaching soccer on weekends, and fending off advances from the local casserole brigade. He doesn’t remember Meg from high school, so of course he has no idea that he was once Meg’s high school crush.
That was back when Meg was a gawky kid, but long before she moved to New York, became a successful stage actress, married and then divorced her movie-star-baby-daddy, got booted from her starring role on Broadway for being too—sob!—old, and decided her just-kicked-out-of-private-school teenaged daughter, Cosette, needed a dose of good old-fashioned hometown wholesomeness.
Now, Meg is here, and Sam is right over there, and maybe this pair of skeptics are starting to believe in … ghosts, after all. What, did you think I was going to say true love and happily ever after? Not Meg and Sam. They know better than to fall into that trap.
Still—something is definitely stirring at the old Duckworth place, and when things go bump in the night, well—who ya gonna call? Before Sam and Meg know it, his teenaged son and her teenaged daughter—living proof that opposites attract—aren’t the only hot-and-heavy couple on the block. Welcome to Love—Suburban Style!
- Wendy Markham
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