by Kristin Hannah

June 2004
ISBN: 0-345-46750-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books

I picked up The Things We Do For Love, read about three pages, and knew that my plans for the immediate future were now put on hold. Ms. Hannah hooked me with the description of the mother’s smell, and after telling several of my friends about it, I’m sure she will hook others with that description as well.

The Things We Do For Love is the story of Angie, the youngest daughter of a loving Italian family. Everyone believes that Angie was spoiled by a father’s love for his youngest daughter, and that when Angie’s marriage falls apart and she comes home to West End she’s not there to really stay. It truly is a fair assessment as Angie herself is feeling at odds and not sure that West End is where she belongs. She only knows that her family’s restaurant is in serious trouble and she wants to help keep it.

At first Angie’s ideas for changing and saving the restaurant aren’t being accepted by her family. They just don’t see her as a changed person. Maybe she isn’t changed quite yet. However, soon she truly does evolve. Angie’s evolution comes in the form of a young lady named Lauren.

Lauren is a very special young lady. She’s dedicated to her boyfriend, to her school work, and to her job. She’s even dedicated to her mother who could really care less about her, and has done nothing to instill confidence and pride in Lauren. She has in fact done everything she can to tear her down, and treats her slightly better than the dirt beneath her feet.

Lauren and Angie meet almost by accident, but one might consider it almost fate. Both feel that they should approach a relationship cautiously, it however doesn’t work. Angie is a mother without a child, and Lauren is a child wanting a mother’s love and approval. They grow close, and everyone worries about it including Angie’s ex husband who is still in love with her.

The Things We Do For Love was an emotional read, and I had to stop several times to dry my eyes. Angie and Lauren develop that mother-child bond that is stronger than many blood relationships. When Lauren needs help Angie puts her needs first even though it may destroy her emotionally and ruin a chance of reconciliation with her ex husband, Conlan.

In the end those tough decisions are made and both Lauren and Angie have come out better stronger women for them. The reader has rooted for these women throughout the story, and I believe will be quite content with the final outcome for both.

I have been a fan of Kristin Hannah’s with the discovery of her book On Mystic Lake. The Things We Do For Love has only reinforced my enjoyment of Ms. Hannah’s work. Again the one word of warning I have…read with a big box of tissues nearby.

Reviewed in June 2004 by Sandi.

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