Bed & Breakfast
Ten years of family secrets, misunderstandings, and recriminations have kept the Tatternalls apart - until Josie, a military widow suddenly alerted to mortality when one of her best friends keels over during a bridge game, impulsively invites her three grown daughters home for the holidays at her gracious South Carolina bed-and-breakfast. Cam, Josie's eldest, is her father's daughter - headstrong, smart, fearless, and utterly hopeless when it comes to making peace with either her family or herself. Years ago, she acquired the cynical veneer born of living too long in New York City and watching her writerly dreams fade. Still reeling from a breakup with the man she loves, she heads south heartily skeptical of the comforts of home and hearth. For Cam, this will be a season of shocks and surprises. Lila, the poised and perfect stay-at-home mother of two, lives near Josie in Hilton Head and is experiencing the slow disintegration of her own essentially loveless marriage. She dreads the prospect of this family reunion - especially the return of her black sheep, brilliant older sister, Cam. Yet, astonishing even herself, this is the Christmas when Lila finally will rebel. Evie, the all-too-candid baby of the family, routinely shares her family's secrets in her advice column for a Savannah newspaper. But even Evie has never created a scene like the tableau she stages at this Christmas dinner - when she arrives on the arm of her latest love, a rich man old enough to be her father....
New York : Viking, 1996