The story itself was interesting, but I wasn't crazy about her writing style; a bit too simplistic in that I like writing that brings me right into the story along with the characters and this just didn't do that for me.
When someone thinks they "have it all" they can find out that lots is missing in their lives. The centeral character tries to catch some of what she is missing.
From Publishers Weekly
This debut by the daughter of Sidney Sheldon, an innocuous drama of mothers and daughters, is too prim to qualify as a guilty pleasure, which may be to its credit. 40-something Alexis Donleavys seems to have it all a brilliant career as an interior designer, a successful husband, a fabulous Manhattan apartment. But she is haunted by memories of her mother, Maggie, the flamboyant actress who abandoned her when she was a little girl. When Alexis is nearly assaulted by a gang of teenagers, she returns to the scene of the crime (a home for troubled youths) to "teach them about beautiful things." There she encounters sensitive outsider Linda, whom Alexis takes under her wing. Meanwhile, in Paris, Maggie recounts her life story to a reporter: her meager childhood, her affair with a married man, her marriage into a wealthy family and her rise to stardom. Alexis flashes back to her own girlhood especially the tug-of-war between her imperious grandmother and free-spirited Maggie over her upbringing and, later, the death of her own six-year-old daughter, Elise. Maggie comes off as selfish and more than a little foolish and her autobiography threatens to nudge out the real story: Alexis's relationship with Linda, which is touching, though it, too, obviously hinges on old tragedies. Still, both women are likable enough that readers won't mind the ham-handed psychology and the ending left wide open for a sequel.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
This story of a married woman searching for the mother who abandoned her years ago takes the reader on a thoughtful, if somewhat cumbersome, journey through high expectations, misunderstandings, and disappointments. Alexis Donleavy is a very rich and successful interior designer, yet she is profoundly saddened by feelings of abandonment and loss that have haunted her since childhood, when her mother left to return to her career as an actress. A crisis involving a troubled girl whom Alexis mentors at a home for disadvantaged teens forces her to uncover the true reasons why her childhood has left her in such emotional turmoil. Sheldon tells this story in a series of flashbacks involving Alexis and her mother. At first it seems disjointed and is difficult to follow as the characters and viewpoints continually shift, but readers patient enough to plow through the sluggish plot will be rewarded with a somewhat ambiguous but satisfying ending. The author is the daughter of writer Sidney Sheldon, and name recognition alone is sure to generate some interest. Recommended for most public libraries. Margaret Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI
Alexis Donleavy has it all: Wealth, a successful husband and a top notch career in New York City. Yet some days she dreams of escaping her empty, passionless marriage. Some days she greieves for the happiness that eludes her, and every day she desperately longs for her mother, Maggie.... Growing up dirt poor in West Texas, Maggie Royal aimed for greatness and as a Hollywood Actress, she achieved it. Nows, decades later, she has agreed to a rare, revealing interview from her home in Paris. slowly, painfully, the memories pour forth....until she must finally relive the moment she abandoned her eight year old daughter.
Down to earth - good read...
Alexis Donleavy has it all: wealth, a successful husband, and a top notch career in new york city. yet some days she dreams of escaping her empty, psssionless marriage. some days she grieves for the happiness that eludes her. and every day she desperatly longs for her mother, maggie... growning up dirt-poor in west texas, maggie royal aimed for greatness- and as a hollywood actress, she achieved it. now, decades later, she has agreed to a rare, revealing interview. from her home in paris. slowly, painfully, the memories pour forth.. until she must finally relive the moment she abandonmed her eight-year-old daughter. in halfway home, mary sheldon has created a brilliantly insightful story of regret and reconciliaion, and of two people whose lives are forever, fatefully entwined.
Great book, very well written. Makes you appreciate your mom!
I loved this book! Very hard to put down. Read it in one day.