by Carole Bellacera

July 2002
ISBN: 0-765-34029-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
Mass Market Paperback

This is the first book I have read by Carole Bellacera and it will not be my last! From the first page I was spellbound and eager to see what would happen next. East of the Sun, West of the Moon is an emotional read, it had me laughing in some places and crying in others.

Kayleigh is a mother of three whose children range from ages 10 to 20, and a wife of a congressman, Bob Fallon. Kayleigh is an illustrator of children books. Although Bob is not thrilled at her occupation, he does not care what Kayleigh (or Leigh, as her husband calls her) does as long as she knows and follows certain social decorum as a wife of a congressman. Bob rarely spends anytime with his wife and family, and it is her oldest son that escorts her to a very important award ceremony. Kayleigh is tired of her marriage and does not know what to do to get out of it. She no longer loves Bob but is staying with him because of the kids and she doesn't think she can make it on her own.

Mark, Kayleigh's oldest child, wants to house a foreign exchange student for a year. The exchange student, Erik, arrives and Kayleigh and Erik are attracted to each other. But Kayleigh knows that nothing will ever happen between them - after all, Erik is 27 years old and she is married! That is, until she finds condoms in Bob's overnight bag... and Kayleigh justifies starting an affair with Erik with Bob's infidelity.

The affair between Kayleigh and Erik is found out - everyone is devastated and no longer wants Kayleigh around them. Erik goes back to Norway the next day and Kayleigh moves away to finally get on with her life. At the same time, she tries to get back into her childrens' lives, who are still feeling betrayed by their mother's affair. In addition, Kayleigh is having a hard time getting over Erik . Erik awoke feelings and emotions in Kayleigh that she never knew she had. All the new emotions and feelings are put to a test time and time again, not only by Bob, her ex-husband, but also her children and friends.

This book is an emotional roller coaster. Ms. Bellacera gives the trials of a woman who is in a loveless marriage and who tries to learn how to love once again. We are able to see how the children react to the news; how it changes them as well and how they cope. The affair is not the only tragedy that shapes the characters', both primary and secondary, lives. If you are looking for a good emotional read with many ups and downs then East of the Sun, West of the Moon is for you.

Reviewed in August 2002 by Pam.

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