Thursdays at Eight with this scrapbook-style novel, which relies solely on letters, newspaper clippings, diary entries and even "/>

BETWEEN FRIENDS

Debbie Macomber, Author . Mira $22.95 (332p) ISBN 978-1-55166-905-2

The prolific Macomber follows up Thursdays at Eight with this scrapbook-style novel, which relies solely on letters, newspaper clippings, diary entries and even school essays to tell the story of a friendship spanning more than half a century. Born in 1948 in the same Washington State town, Jillian Lawton and Lesley Adamski have vastly different backgrounds. Wealthy Jillian is on a trajectory to become a lawyer like her father. Just as smart, but from the wrong side of the tracks, Lesley is destined to remain in their native Washington; like her mother, she becomes pregnant at a young age by an alcoholic philanderer. Despite their different circumstances, Jillian and Lesley forge a grade-school friendship that lasts a lifetime and is evoked in their various communiqués. Macomber's storytelling is undermined by the ambitious choice of format. Rather than providing intimacy, the "just a short note" conceit deals superficially with the most significant events of the last 50 years (a quick perusal of the half-page e-mail devoted to the World Trade Center attack will be enough to confirm this) and with the characters themselves, who are somewhat thinly drawn. As for the lessons learned—it's generally easier to be rich than poor, it's never too late to take up golf—there's not much that's revelatory. Still, while this book is unlikely to win her new fans, Macomber's old ones will give it a chance. Author tour. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/20/2002
Release date: 06/01/2002
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