Read Follow the Stars Home Online

Authors: Luanne Rice

Tags: #Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Suspense

Follow the Stars Home

BOOK: Follow the Stars Home
2.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
“Rice's trademarks are fine writing, a good eye for small detail, and an uncanny way of conveying the mysterious glue that holds families together.”

Kirkus Reviews
(Starred Review)
Follow the Stars Home
“The novel's theme—love's miraculous ability to heal-has the ingredients to warm readers' hearts.”

Publishers Weekly
“Rice has once again created a tender story of a new family unit, where love and loyalty are more important than biology and where learning to trust again opens the door to happiness.”

Library Journal
“A novel by Luanne Rice is the best thing … for times when a reader needs a lump in the throat and a teardrop on the page.”

The Sunday Oklahoman
“A moving romance that also illuminates the tangled resentments, ties and allegiances of family life … Rice spins a web of three families intertwined by affection and conflict … [She] is a gifted storyteller with a keen sense of both the possibilities and contingencies of life.”

Times Record,
Brunswick, Maine
“Powerhouse author Luanne Rice returns with a novel guaranteed to wrench your emotional heart strings. Deeply moving and rich with emotion,
Follow the Stars Home
is another of Ms. Rice's classics.”

Romantic Times
“Beautiful, touching … Emotions run deep in this heartwarming tale … This UNFORGETTABLE journey will stay with you long after you've read the last chapter.”

“Rice's story of love and redemption will please fans of her tender and poignant style.”

“Heartwarming …This is a novel that will touch readers' hearts.”

The Sunday Oklahoman
Cloud Nine
“A tightly paced story that is hard to put down … Rice's message remains a powerful one: the strength of precious family ties can ultimately set things right.”

Publishers Weekly
“One of those rare reading experiences that we always hope for when cracking the cover of a book … A joy.”

The Library Journal
“Luanne Rice touches the deepest, most tender corners of the heart.”
—Tami Hoag, author of
Ashes to Ashes
“Elegant … Rice hooks the reader on the first page.”

The Hartford Courant
“Warm, sweet, and deeply touching … a novel filled with poignant emotion and the fine, soft twist of elegant storytelling … a heartfelt look inside the workings of ordinary yet extraordinary lives.”
—Deborah Smith, author of
When Venus Fell
“A celebration of family and the healing power of love. Poignant and powerful … One of those rare books which refreshes and renews the landscape of women's fiction for a new generation of readers.”
—Jayne Ann Krentz, author of
Sharp Edges
Home Fires
“Exciting, emotional, terrific. What more could you want from a late-summer read?”

The New York Times Book Review
“Compelling … poignant … riveting.”

The Hartford Advocate
“Rice makes us believe that healing is possible.”

Chicago Tribune
“Good domestic drama is Rice's chosen field, and she knows every acre of it … Rice's home fires burn brighter than most, and leave more than a few smoldering moments to remember.”

Kirkus Reviews
Blue Moon

Entertainment Weekly
“A rare combination of realism and romance.”

The New York Times Book Review
“Eloquent … A moving and complete tale of the complicated phenomenon we call family.”

Luanne Rice
“What a lovely writer Luanne Rice is.”
—Dominick Dunne
“Ms. Rice shares Anne Tyler's ability to portray offbeat, fey characters winningly.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Luanne Rice handles with marvelous insight and sensitivity the complex chemistry of a family that might be the one next door.”
—Eileen Goudge
“Miss Rice writes as naturally as she breathes.”
—Brendan Gill
True Blue
Safe Harbor
Summer Light
Firefly Beach
Dream Country
Cloud Nine
Home Fires
Blue Moon
Secrets of Paris
Stone Heart
Crazy in Love
Angels All Over Town

Andrea Cirillo,
my beloved friend and amazing agent,
with love and gratitude

I would like to thank Sam Whitney, a girl I've known since the Thanksgiving Day she was born. Sam is an intrepid writer, mountaineer, explorer, and nurse. She trekked the Nepal Himalaya, worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and now she's a full time O.B. RN taking a full load of graduate courses. Her help was invaluable in my research on Rett Syndrome. Sam is spiritual, compassionate, and hilarious, and I am proud to have babysat for her. She is a seeker of great spirit.
The people at Bantam are wonderful and supportive. I am shepherded through the publications of my books with their kindness, belief, and insight. I ask that Irwyn Applebaum, Nita Taublib, Christine Brooks, Barb Burg, Susan Corcoran, Gina Wachtel, Betsy Hulsebosch, Carolyn Willis, each person on the incredible sales force and in every office, please accept my thanks, affection, and a bouquet of herbs from Point O'Woods.
Lucinda was inspired by my mother and the librarian of my youth: Mrs. Virginia Smith of the New Britain Public Library. With deep appreciation to librarians everywhere.
Thank you to Juanita Albert. She inspires me with stories of family, devotion, and faith. She has been a true friend through grief and joy.
Point O'Woods is a place in Connecticut of sea, sand, tall pines, and golden salt marshes. It is in my heart and soul forever. My parents met there, and their spirits—along with Mim's—inhabit our house and herb garden. My mother helped me learn to love to write at our old oak table, and I write there still. May my family and neighbors know how much I love them.
Snow was falling in New York. The flakes were fine and steady, obscuring the upper stories of Midtown's black and silver buildings. Snow covered the avenues faster than city plows could clear it away. It capped stone monuments and the Plaza's dormant fountain. As night closed in, and lights were turned on in every window, the woman stood with the young girl, breathing in the cold air.
“The snow looks so magical in the city!” Amy, twelve, said in amazement.
“It's so beautiful,” Dianne agreed.
“But where do the kids go sledding?”
“In Central Park, I think. Right over there,” Dianne said, pointing at the trees coated in white, the yellow lights glowing through the snow.
Amy just stared. Everything about New York was new and wonderful, and Dianne loved seeing the city through her eyes. Fresh from the quiet marshlands of eastern Connecticut, they had checked into the Plaza hotel, visited Santa at Macy's, and gone ice skating at
Rockefeller Center. That night they had tickets to see the New York City Ballet dance
The Nutcracker.
Standing under the hotel awning, they took in Christmas lights, livery-clad doormen, and guests dressed for a gala evening. Three cabs stood at the curb, snow thick in their headlights. At least twenty people were lined up, scanning the street for additional cabs. Hesitating for just a moment, Dianne took Amy's hand and walked down the steps.
Overwhelmed with excitement, her own and for the child, she didn't want to risk missing the curtain by waiting in a long taxi line. Standing by the curb, she checked the map and weighed the idea of walking to Lincoln Center.
“Dianne, are we going to be late?” Amy asked.
“No, we're not,” Dianne said, making up her mind. “I'll get us a cab.”
Amy laughed, thrilled by the sight of her friend standing in the street, arm outstretched like a real New Yorker. Dianne wore a black velvet dress, a black cashmere cape, a string of pearls, and her grandmother-in-law's diamond and sapphire earrings: things she never wore at home at Gull Point. Her evening bag was ancient. Black satin, stiff with years spent on a closet shelf, it had come from a boutique in Essex, Connecticut.
“Oh, let me hail the cab,” Amy said, dancing with delight, her arm flying up just like Dianne's. Her movement was sudden, and slipping on the snow, she grasped at Dianne's bag. The strap was very long; even with Dianne's arm raised, the bag swung just below her hip. Nearly losing her balance on the icy street, Dianne caught Amy and steadied them both.
They smiled, caught in a momentary embrace. Although Thanksgiving had just passed, Christmas lights glittered everywhere. Beneath its snowy veil,
the city was enchanted. A Salvation Army band played “Silent Night.” Bells jingled on passing horse-drawn carriages.
“I've never been anywhere like this,” Amy said. Her enormous green eyes gazed into Dianne's with the rapture of being twelve, on such a wonderful adventure.
“I'm so glad you came with me,” Dianne said.
“I wish Julia were here,” Amy said.
Bowled over with affection for the girl, and missing her own daughter, Dianne didn't see the cab at first.
Spinning on the ice, the taxi clipped the bumper of a black Mercedes limousine. A snowplow and a sand truck drove by in the opposite direction, and the Yellow Cab caromed off the plow's blade, crushing its front end, shattering the windshield. Dianne lunged for Amy.
The violent ballet happened in slow motion. Pirouetting once, twice, the cab spun on the icy street. Dianne grabbed the child. Her low black boot fought for traction. Glass tinkled on the pavement. Onlookers screamed. Arms around Amy, Dianne tried to run. In the seconds it took to register what was happening, that she wasn't going to get out of the way fast enough, she wrapped her body around the child and tried to shield her from the impact.
BOOK: Follow the Stars Home
2.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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