Picks and Pans Review: Follow the Stars Home

updated 03/27/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/27/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Luanne Rice

There's a big dose of heartbreak and redemption in this sugary, addictive romance novel. Abandoned by her husband, Tim, Dianne Robbins is left alone to raise her severely handicapped 12-year-old daughter Julia, who suffers a form of autism. Though Dianne has her widowed mother's help and makes a decent living crafting Victorian-style playhouses for children, coping with her daughter's frail health constitutes an almost Sisyphean struggle. Kindly pediatrician Alan McIntosh—Tim's brother—waits in the wings to comfort her in times of crisis. But Dianne is too wounded by Tim to notice Alan's devotion. When Alan introduces Dianne and Julia to Amy Brooks, a spunky 11-year-old who's got troubles of her own, the picture brightens. Amy becomes Dianne's surrogate daughter and Julia's best friend. It's only a matter of time before a happier Dianne opens her eyes—and heart—to the doting doctor. (Bantam, $19.95)

Bottom Line: Irresistible confection

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