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The Summerhouse
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About the Author

Jude Deveraux is the author of more than forty New York Times bestsellers, including Moonlight in the Morning, The Scent of Jasmine, Scarlet Nights, Days of Gold, Lavender Morning, Return to Summerhouse, and Secrets. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide. To learn more, visit JudeDeveraux.com.

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"If you had to do it all over again, what would you do?" is the question Deveraux poses in this wistful novel of second chances. Twenty-five years into her career, with 26 New York Times bestsellers to her credit and 30 million copies of her books in print, the author serves up the following situation: 19 years ago, Leslie, Madison and Ellie met while waiting in line to get their licenses renewed at the New York City Department of Motor Vehicles. Sharing the same birthday, they became instant friends. Now they're all turning 40, and although they haven't seen each other since that long-ago day, when Ellie invites the others for a reunion in Maine, they agree to attend. Once there, they realize that their lives haven't turned out as planned. But then the trio stumble across Madame Zoya of Futures, Inc., who make them an irresistible offer: they can relive any three weeks from the past, armed with the knowledge since gained. Afterwards, they must decide: should they stick with the lives they have or go with the new futures they've created? The conceit of the DMV meeting and subsequent reunion functions as a clunky device to let the women tell their individual tales of woe; the idea that they're soul mates even though they only met once and never kept in touch requires a considerable stretch of the imagination. When they do go back in time, like 40-years-olds trying to play 20 at a costume party, the conversations are youthfully banal. The eternal allure of lives relived rescues the tale, but this lukewarm effort is strictly for loyal fans. The best thing about time travel in Deveraux's world? Instant weight loss. Major ad/promo. (May 8) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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