Hallie smiled at the secretary, hoping that her demeanor was that of a public relations director going into a meeting with the
president of the company and not of a woman who was going to make love to her boss in his office at four o'clock in the
afternoon. "Thanks, Mary," she said shifting her notebook in an exaggerated movement from one hand to the other, feeling
slightly embarrassed. She suppressed the urge to giggle, something she frequently did whenever she felt self-conscious, and
walked past the secretary's desk.
All in one day, thirty-five-year-old Hallie Marsh learns that the man she loves, works for, and is living with has found someone
else—and that she no longer has a job, a place to live, or a car since she crashed it into a hedge. She retreats to her parents'
home in the northern part of Florida to be consoled and to decide what to do with the rest of her life only to find out that her
mother is planning to leave her father for another man. Embittered, filled with anger, and wanting revenge, Hallie decides to take
a year's sabbatical and write a novel that would reveal the unethical, if not illegal, real estate business practices of her former
boss and lover. The focus of her novel soon changes, however, when she becomes fascinated with her new neighbors—four
peculiar, elderly people who decide to buy an old run-down estate, fix it up, and live in it “just like family.” With this new focus and
the support of her two best friends, Carol Mathews and Gordon Sebastian Cooney, Hallie overcomes her feelings of rage, she is
able to cope with her mother's sudden death, and she finds true love.
Love and romance, yes. But much more. Just Like Family reflects with sensitivity the intensity, the warmth, the need,
the possibilities of friendship. We meet people of different races, backgrounds and ages who all find themselves
somehow tied together in a time and place. Hardships, relationships, tragedies challenge the characters. The reader
joins and emotionally shares with them the voyage of discovery that ensues. Ultimately we learn the goal and, trust
me, we are enhanced as much as the characters we have come to know and love. This is a book to treasure. For
today's readers, subjected to troubling news from around the world, Just Like Family comes as a panacea. Thank you
PATRICIA DALY-LIPE, Author, Forbidden Loves: Paris between the Wars.
Past President, National League of American Pen Women, Washington, DC
Historian, National Society Daughters of American Colonists, Washington, DC
Just Like Family is a fun story with unforgettable characters. Taking on the challenges of working in a highly
competitive or difficult environment, it offers a deliciously naughty concept for those of us “a certain age” facing the
perils of living alone. Just like in her novels The Coach’s Wife and Shyla’s Initiative, Barbara Casey gives us a
perceptive, multi-dimensional glimpse into the world around us.
KAREN DOVE BARR, Author, Running Through Menopause
Attorney at Law
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