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One summer [sound recording]
Baldacci, David
Adult Fiction BALDACC

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Legal thriller fixture Baldacci (Deliver Us from Evil) churns out a creaky, contrived family drama about Jack Armstrong, a terminally ill family man just praying to make it to Christmas. Sadness abounds, much more so when Jack's wife, Lizzie, is killed in a car wreck while on a medicine run. Plans are made by Jack's mean mother-in-law Bonnie: the three kids will get divided up among aunts and uncles across the country, and Jack will be put into hospice. Miraculously, Jack's health turns around, and he's able to reclaim his kids and move the brood from Ohio to the South Carolina shore where Lizzie grew up. There, he tries to reassemble the family and learn how to be a single parent, and just as they're beginning to settle into a functional family again, Bonnie sues for custody of the kids. Yes, it possesses all the subtlety of a dog fight, but it's also choked with pap ("No matter what you do, no matter how hard you fight, life sometimes just doesn't make sense") and so sappy you'd think Baldacci was earning a commission on each tear jerked. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

This tale of "love, tragedy, second chances, fear, and uncertainty" tells the story of Jack, a war vet, proud dad, and husband to high school sweetheart Lizzie. Jack is terminally ill, and while devotedly caring for him, Lizzie perishes in an auto accident. Summoning a newfound will to live, and an alternative treatment, Jack miraculously recovers in time to keep his family together. Unfortunately, his healing does not prevent his mother-in-law from filing for custody of the children. Well performed by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy, Baldacci's latest is a far cry from his popular legal thrillers. Engaging for the most part, the story is often overly sweet, sentimental, somewhat predictable, and sometimes requires the reader's suspension of disbelief. Longtime Baldacci fans may be disappointed; however, those with a penchant for Nicholas Sparks or similar titles by James Patterson (e.g., Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas) will enjoy it. [See Prepub Alert, 12/1/10; the Grand Central hc, published in June, was a New York Times best seller.-Ed.]-Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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