Thursday, August 4, 2011

Life Studies-Nancy Gotter Gates

Life Studies
Nancy Gotter Gates
Five Star, Sep 7 2011, $25.95
ISBN: 9781432825294

In Greensboro, North Carolina when financial planner Peter Raynor died after a bout with cancer, he left his fiftyish widowed wife Liz economically secure, but the survivor lacks a purpose. Tiny Samantha Graces arrives at Liz’s home asking for Peter. The young woman from Wilmington is shocked to learn Peter died and offers no reason why she sought him.

Liz rents a studio at the Sternberger Artist's Center where she plans to paint. She also attends a painting class provided by instructor Jay Kadlacek, a single dad raising a rebellious teen Brian. While working at the Urban Ministry homeless kitchen Liz sees Samantha. A spur of the moment decision has her taking Samantha into her home. Her financial planner steals the funds of Liz and others. As Liz struggles with her lack of funds, she and Jay fall in love; even while both help reclusive Samantha blossom in spite of the small woman breaking her leg and Brian’s behavior hindering their relationship.

Although readers will ironically figure out the Peter connection long before the characters do, fans will enjoy this warm romantic family drama. Jay and Liz are caring souls (as her BFF says too kindhearted) people while Brian and Samantha bring issues to the warm story line. Well written and especially enhanced by an inspiring look at Noonan Disorder, fans will enjoy the romance between the older generation hampered by their nurturing of the younger generation.

Harriet Klausner

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