Fly Away Home
by Kimberly Cates, contemporary (2000)
Sonnet, $6.99, ISBN 0-671-02823-5

Is it me or every Sonnet author is starting to leave their historical roots to do contemporary women's fiction? If the editors at the House are the smart alecks who suggest this, may I suggest that they, at least, tell these authors that throwing problems and angsts after angsts my way does not a women's fiction make?

Maybe it's just cranky old me, but I find everything about Fly Away Home calculative and contrived, out to wring every last sigh or tear from me. Let's see - heroine Eve Danaher is a fine arts expert (ooh, how sophisticated!) who - boo hoo, isn't on speaking terms with her daughter. Oh, the pain! In a The Horse Whisperer-ripoff act, she flees to Ireland, the idyllic Ireland only found in popcorn romances where everything is sunny and idyllic. I love Irish accents as much as the next woman, but honey, I get ill being swamped by so much sugar.

And Mommy Poor-Me meets horse rancher hunk Michael Hallorenatt who isn't only the best horse trainer in Ireland, he also runs a home for troubled kiddies on his ranch! Awww, how sweet. Pass me the air bag.

I'm sorry, but this whole story is so trite and predictable that I just feel so manipulated. Of course the mother and daughter kiss and make up, and how course she and that horse guy get to do the horsey thing. Fly Away Home is surely a prophetic title for me - watch me flee this annoying, sugary, by-the-book example of Me too can write a Danielle Steel thingie. Bye!

Rating: 48

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