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THE PARAMOUR'S DAUGHTER
By Wendy Hornsby
Perseverance Press, 2010 ($14.00)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Maggie MacGowen Flynn just wants to get a few last-minute groceries on the night before Thanksgiving, and the last thing she needs is to be accosted by a well-dressed woman who claims to know her. Just another nut or would-be stalker, Maggie thinks, nobody I know at all. She is relieved when store security ushers the woman off the property. Later that night she hears that a woman fitting her assailant's description has been killed in an apparent hit and run, and she shares her story with the police.
The last year has been extremely difficult for Maggie and her family. Her father, a brilliant physics professor, died, and a few months later Maggie became a widow in a very distressing way. She is still mourning her losses. The chain of events that began at the supermarket that November evening shake her to her very core, changing her life and her sense of who she is, leaving her feeling betrayed by those she loves best.
Within a few days, Maggie is on a plane to France, accompanying the remains of the mystery woman at the request of the French government. Although she now knows who the woman is, and her connection with Maggie's family, there are many questions yet to be answered. She is welcomed into an extended family she never knew she had. Most of the members welcome her with open arms, but there are some who wish she'd never found them. Her instincts tell her there are secrets that one or more of her new kinfolk do not want revealed, and her need to do just that puts her in harm's way and leaves her wondering who she can trust.
This is the first book in which Maggie, a documentary filmmaker, has ventured out of California, and her new location is beautiful, interesting, and rich in history. She finds out she is descended from a line of strong women, women who did not suffer the Germans gladly when they took over the town during World War II, women who would do anything to protect their loved ones. She also discovers that her heart is beginning to heal, and that French men can be very appealing.
Ms. Hornsby took a break from writing for several years. Maggie MacGowen finally returned last year, IN THE GUISE OF MERCY, and it was a very welcome return. Her fans, and I am one, are sure to find THE PARAMOUR'S DAUGHTER fascinating, moving, and well worth the wait.
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