FICTION

The Other Side

Dafina: Kensington. Sept. 2019. 272p. ISBN 9781496709325. pap. $9.95; ebk. ISBN 9781496709349. F
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Bernadette, Arizona, and Tess have two things in common: they share the same birthday and they all have problems in the love department. Nearing her 50th birthday, sophisticated Bernadette has relocated from Washington, DC, to the sleepy town of Bourbon, NC, five years after her last relationship ended bitterly. Almost 30, former wild child Arizona and her fiancé have mutually agreed to uphold a vow of celibacy until their wedding day, but a moment of weakness has her questioning if she can go through with the marriage. Bernadette’s cousin, best-selling author Tess, is turning 40 and has been let down again by her cheating, noncommittal boyfriend. Tess feels her chance at marriage and motherhood slipping out of her grasp. This trio of strong women come to realize that the best birthday present is the support they find from one another amid the ups and downs of their love lives.
VERDICT Hickman (Deadly Satisfaction) weaves the stories of three independent women with modern relationship troubles, albeit with some extraordinary coincidences. Readers who enjoy strong female characters with supportive friendships will be delighted, if also surprised, by the abrupt cliff-hanger ending, ensuring there will be a sequel.

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