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An Accidental Woman [Paperback]

Barbara Delinsky
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Aug 2008
From the bestselling author of THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR comes another unforgettable story of friendship and love An unforgettable story that explores the ways in which we limit our own chances of happiness - and the accidents of fate that can set us free. Heather Malone has made her home in Lake Henry for the last fourteen years. When she is suddenly arrested by the FBI and charged with a murder in California some years back, the locals are bewildered about the past of this well-loved woman. Poppy Blake is Heather's closest friend. She has worked hard to rebuild her life since a snowmobile accident confined her to a wheelchair. However, it is her guilt over past mistakes, more than her present disability, which is holding her back. Barbara Delinsky has written a tightly knit and compelling story that explores the consequences of denial and regret and celebrates the values of community, friendship, and ultimately the redemptive power of love.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 501 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (12 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416558780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416558781
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 13.7 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,058,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Delinsky may be as adept at chronicling contemporary life in New England as any writer this side of John Updike." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FAITH 29 Sep 2003
Another great book by Delinsky that explores true values in life, powerful, could not put it down, learning to have faith and trust in others are all highlighted in this magnificient book. Anyone going through periods of doubt or having issues in their lives should read this, it teaches you to never give up hope. Could read it again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read 22 Nov 2009
By Marty
I bought this book as a gift for a relative after reading it on holiday this year.
I couldn't put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars too quick to reach a happy ending 13 April 2009
By Hayles
This novel has a great premise but fails to deliver as it insists on giving us a happy ending that is frankly not very realistic. I am naturally cynical so was always going to find this a difficult read but I can't understand why anyone would not want a good dose of realism in this kind of fiction. All the problems set up in the first few chapters of this novel are neatly sorted out by the end which makes you wonder why you bothered giving it any of your time. There are no twists and turns and nothing unexpected. If you want to believe that any of life problems can be easily solved by pulling together with your neighbours than this is a life-affirming book, if you would prefer a bit of reality to creep in now and again then it will leave you feeling like you have just eaten too much candy floss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read 28 Sep 2009
An enjoyable, curl up in front of the fire read. Yes it all ends well but hey it's worth it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent mainstream tale 22 July 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
The townsfolk of Lake Henry, New Hampshire consider Heather Malone as one of their own even though she only lived in the small New England town for fourteen years. Heather lives with Micah Smith and his two girls. They are a very happy family unit until the FBI arrests Heather. They believe she is Lisa Matlock, who killed a United States Senator's son fifteen years ago in California and then mysteriously vanished.

Griffin Hughes, a journalist, feels terrible because it was his conversation with his FBI brother that led to Heather's arrest. He travels to Lake Henry to work on his current assignment and see if he can use his contacts to help Heather and to romance Poppy, a paraplegic who fears that he is confusing pity with love. Griffin is determined that he will prove his love to Poppy no matter how long it takes.

Barbara Delinsky never fails to please her myriad fans and her latest mainstream work is no exception. AN ACCIDENTAL WOMAN stars a heroine who is impossible not to like and she's determined to be independent though she's wheelchair bound. The rather unusual courtship of Griffin and Poppy is realistic and charming. This novel will send Ms. Delinsky back to the New York Times bestseller lists.

Harriet Klausner
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading...and not just for the beach!!! 27 July 2002
By Terry Mathews - Published on Amazon.com
I have to admit that AN ACCIDENTAL WOMAN is my first Delinsky book, but it will not be my last.
This wonderfully woven story about a tightly knit community thrown into turmoil over the discover that one of their 'adopted' own is a fugitive is everything a good book should be.
Delinsky takes you into the heart and soul of her characters and she creates them with enough human frailty as to make them believable.
Lake Henry, New Hampshire, and its citizens are honest, hard working and take care of their own. When federal agents show up at the home of Heather Malone and accuse her of being a woman named Lisa who killed the son of a very powerful politician, Lake Henryites are shocked.
And no one more is more surprised than Poppy Blake, Heather's best friend. Confined to a wheelchair for 12 years since a snowmobiling accident, Poppy is determined to live a normal and independent life. She has her circle of friends and her life is organized and orderly, until Heather's arrest.
Enter Griffin Hughes, the investigative reporter with more than a passing interest in Poppy and his own issues. He's there to help Heather, but he's also intrigued by Poppy. He met her when he was in Lake Henry to do a story on Poppy's sister and cannot get Poppy and her independent self out of his mind.
Delinsky weaves the Poppy/Griffin love story with the Heather/Lisa mystery with great ease. I felt as though I had been to Lake Henry, seen the snow, experienced the wind and lived through the thrill of a sap run.
This is not just a 'beach book.' You'll be thinking about Poppy/Griffin/Heather and the wonderful people of Lake Henry long after summer has gone!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story 18 Aug 2002
By T. Wheaton - Published on Amazon.com
In the middle of the night, the FBI appear at Heather Malone's home with an arrest warrant claiming she is actually a woman named Lisa Matlock. Lisa Matlock is wanted for a 15 year old murder.
The town of Lake Henry is shocked. Nice, gentle Heather could not possibly be this woman that they are talking about. But as people begin to question the assertions of the FBI, they also begin to question themselves. Nobody really knows much about Heather's life before she appeared in Lake Henry 14 years ago. Not Micah, the man that she's been living with for the past several years and with whom she's made a life and built a business. Not Poppy, the woman who counts herself as Heather's best friend.
This book is actually two stories in one. The main story is really Poppy & Griffin's love story. The seconday story is Heather's plight. As much as I liked this book (and I really did enjoy reading it) I only gave it three stars for several reasons:
1) Poppy and Griffin's story is a welcome continuation of what was begun in Delinsky's earlier story set in Lake Henry, "Lake News." As such it is gratifying to catch up with Poppy again and see that she gets her guy. But, as nice as it is to see these two get together, their story wasn't as compelling as Heather's story. And because it wasn't as compelling, I became a little impatient at their passages because I couldn't wait to get back and see what new revelations there were about Heather.
2) For all that Heather was a major catalyst to the story, that is all that she remained. She had no voice in this book. She was, for all intents and purposes, mute. She refused to talk about her past, and even when she did finally give Poppy a crumb, it was just three words and she mouthed it silently. I am sure that that was a conscious decision on Delinksy's part to keep Heather silent, so that we learned about her from other people. This worked really well for Delinsky in "Coast Road" where her heroine is in a coma and her family reflects on her life so that the only way the reader sees this pivotal character is through other characters eyes. Although I liked that technique in "Coast Road" I didn't like it so much here. I wanted the hear Heather.
3) Call me a sucker for the Hollywood ending, but I wanted more closure. Heather's story was such a good one with a boffo surprise and a great ending. But that was it. It ended. I wanted follow-up, I wanted closure. I still have questions about what happened after she reunited with Micah and the girls.
I love Barbara Delinsky. She is really one of the best writers of contemporary, character driven fiction out there. And she's at her best when she's looking at the effect one person has on a whole community, as she did in "The Passions of Chelsea Kane." This was book was a goody stroy. I think it would have been a great book if the Heather story had been the main focus and the Poppy story had been the secondary.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is She? 10 Aug 2002
By Elaine Hayes - Published on Amazon.com
This was also my first read by Barbara Delinsky. After finishing it, I will be reading others!
At the crack of dawn, Micah Smith is awakened by the sound of cars driving up to his home. The FBI has come to arrest Heather Malone, the woman he has lived with for the past four years, and the only mother his two daughters can recall. The FBI says she is really Lisa Matlock, and that she killed the son of a powerful family in California.
Arrested on charges of flight to avoid prosecution, and for a murder that allegedly took place in California 14 years earlier, the reaction of the people of Lake Henry is total disbelief. But, as they start to talk to one another, they begin to realize they know nothing of Heather's life before she came to Lake Henry.
Poppy Blake is Heather's best friend. Confined to a wheelchair after a snowmobile accident, she lives with the guilt and blame of believing she caused a friend's death. When Griffin Hughes comes to Lake Henry, she is slow to warm to him, even with his generous overtures toward her, and his obvious attraction for her.
Griffin unknowingly tipped the FBI on to Heather's whereabouts, and he comes to Lake Henry to try to make amends. Using his network of contacts, he works to help Heather's lawyer contact people who were involved in the incident those 14 years ago.
This is a delicious read, with the story taking place in February, at the height of sugaring season. Well worth the time, I will definitely be reading more by Barbara Delinsky in the future!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MyShelf.com Book Reviewer 30 Sep 2002
By Suzie Housley - Published on Amazon.com
Step into the peaceful valley of Lake Henry. Be blown away by the
trials and tribulations that it holds...
Poppy Blake's closest friend, Heather Malone, has been arrested. It is up to Poppy to step in and take charge and to provide the support that Heather's family needs. Although confined to a wheelchair as a result of a snowmobile accident, Poppy refuses to let life's hardships stand in her way. Poppy's strength and courage is the foundation that bonds the family together. How will she feel when she learns that the person who has betrayed her best friend is the same person that she has developed feelings for?
Secrets have a way of unrevealing, just when you least expect it. . .
Writer Griffin Hughes first met Poppy while doing a news story
involving her older sister. He immediately was attracted to the
fiercely independent determination that Poppy displayed. How will he ever be able to tell her that, by a slip of a tongue, he is
responsible for his closet friend incarnation?
From the moment you turn and read the first page in Barbara
Delinksy's AN ACCIDENTAL WOMAN, you quickly see that you are
experiencing one of the most touching and thought provoking novels in 2002. Always when I select a Barbara Delinsky novel, I
mmediately know that I am in for a very rewarding experience. By
reading this book, there is no way you can not back up and read
Heather's prior story. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED . . .
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