"Does it have a name?" Vivian asked Walter. What would be the proper question to ask her husband of nearly twenty years, when he brings home his illegitimate baby as casually as a bag of groceries? Although Walter's frequent infidelities became increasingly obvious to Vivian, she struggled to accept them. After all, she reasoned, they came with the Mercedes, the beautiful house, and the prestige of being Mrs. Carlson, the Texas state representative's better half. Having long since abandoned her attempts at motherhood, Vivian resigned herself to her law studies and a lonely existence as the perfect political wife in suburban Austin.
But Vivian draws the line at her husband's unexpected arrival. And once one line is drawn, she discovers that she can draw others. Left alone with this tiny, helpless bundle that disgusts and fascinates her, Vivian faces some of the hardest choices of her life. On the brink of a long-forgotten freedom, she begins the painful, empowering process of rebuilding her shattered life -- and the reawakening of her soul to the possibilities of love.
An emotionally charged, razor-sharp take on the myriad challenges facing women today, Evelyn Palfrey's witty and suspenseful novel establishes her as a refreshing new voice in contemporary women's fiction.
This contemporary tale of a woman wronged fails to chart new territory, but engages with its attractive, sympathetic heroine. Up-and-coming black Texas state representative Walter Carlson has a history of philandering, but when he dumps the baby he recently fathered with his latest mistress on his long-suffering (and infertile) wife, Vivian, it is the last straw. Livid, Vivian is forced into keeping the infant when her husband holds a press conference and announces that they have adopted a homeless baby. Soon, however, Vivian succumbs to her maternal needs and falls in love with the infant, whom she names Passion. She determines to leave Walter, taking Passion with her, and begins a struggle to maintain her law-student schedule, spend time with her baby and find adequate child care. Rescue comes in the form of Marc Kline, a divorced father and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who teaches at the local university and is working on a book about adoption. A subplot about Passion's birth mother adds suspense, as well as a touch of originality, to the otherwise pedestrian romance. Walter, who belatedly comprehends the value of a good woman and wants Vivian back in his life, gets a satisfying, if heavy-handed, comeuppance.