Snelling (One Perfect Day) strikes a blow for family values in a story about a family that is not close either geographically or emotionally. Gillian Ormsby is a New York corporate executive returns to her California home to take care of her mother Dorothy, who appears to be physically healthy but who won't do anything but sleep. Gillian's sister, Allison, the preferred child who stayed close to home, is being less than helpful. When Gillian arrives after crossing the country, she finds her mother's once beautiful garden as wilted as its caretaker. She is aided in her efforts by her mother's dapper friend, Enzio, who brings killer pastries when he visits, and her mother's neighbor Adam, who owns a dog and a garden store and happens to be handsome. The narrative hits some true notes: Dorothy's passive depression will strike those caring for elderly parents as familiar. Off-notes include Allison, who needs more characterization, and Gillian's generic corporate career. The tale is uneven, but Snelling can certainly charm. (Apr.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
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