by Barbara Delinsky

September 2002 Reissue
ISBN: 0-06-104034-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Harper Books
Mass Market Paperback

Upcoming restaurateur Laura Frye is happy and contented with her devoted accountant husband Jeff and two wonderful children, Debra and Scott. However one day, Jeff does not return from work. Laura waits and waits and waits, but he never comes back. Laura suffers as she keeps worrying and imagining all the terrible things that could have befallen the ever-punctual Jeff that would have prevented him from coming home. As time passes, it becomes evident that Jeff has vanished voluntarily and this gives rise to some ugly rumors and from then on it is as if everything that could possibly go wrong, does. Laura is quite unable to accept the fact that the man she was married to for twenty long years, that devoted father and husband, could harbor so many secrets and leave his family to face the consequences of his wrongdoings.

As each new day brings more bad news, Laura has to find a core of inner strength and stand firm for her children and employees, all of whom are now depending on her. To support her throughout her protracted ordeal is her long time friend and lawyer, Daphne. But is Daphne doing this out of the goodness of her heart or is something else motivating her? With time Laura learns to cope when most unexpectedly, Christian, her nemesis and brother-in-law, comes back into her life. Will he make her life hell again or does he truly want to help? The town’s newspaper is only too gleeful as it sets out to vengefully crucify the Frye household. Almost everyone has a skeleton hanging in their closets and Jeff’s vanishing seems to have opened all the closet doors!

NYT best-selling author Barbara Delinsky’s trademark of dealing with complicated family relationships with sensitivity is evident in this book that was first published ten years ago. The trauma that the entire Frye family goes through is very moving and how each person reacts in their own distinctive way also touches the heart. Laura learns that her happiness is not dependant upon a man and she finds within herself the strength to move on with her life. Her emotional conflicts with her domineering and judgmental mother are bound to feel disturbingly familiar to many readers. How Laura copes with it all, even as near and dear ones keep betraying her, forms the plot. The children feel bewildered and betrayed and lash out at their mom and the circumstances, and their reaction is totally believable. Compelling characters and rich descriptions add up to an emotional read in this poignant novel. Descriptions are so vivid and visual as to make the reader see it even as they read it!

A Woman Betrayed is an exquisite romantic story of betrayal and hope!

Reviewed in October 2002 by Rashmi.

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