A Woman's Place by Barbara Delinsky

By Barbara Delinsky

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Heavy-hearted, I sat close by her side. After a few minutes, I began to hum and was rewarded enough by her weak grin to put words to the tune. Connie loved Streisand. Starting with "Evergreen," I sang softly until she was rested enough to open her eyes. I finished the last few bars of "The Way We Were" and smiled. Her own smile was brief and wan. The look that followed was adult, woman to woman, startlingly acute. " she asked in a frail voice. "I'm not able to do much but lie here and think. Ironic.

For her keen insight as owner of The Wicker Lady, I thank Charlie Wagner. For help in countless other little ways, I thank Fay Shapiro, Melanie Gargus, Regina Hurley, Ashley Brown Ahearn, and Peter Carr. If there are technical errors in A Woman's Place, the fault is mine. Thanks, also, to my own lawyers--my husband, Steve, and my son, Eric, for deflecting their minds from their own cases to brainstorm on behalf of mine. Not that the twins did nothing. They listened and reacted and gave valued opinions on everything from title to plot line to cover.

The driver was there to meet me on time. Incredibly, my impatience grew. I had been away too long and needed to be home, needed to touch the children, needed to talk with Dennis. I needed to do all those hated things like washing dishes, folding laundry, vacuuming carpets, making beds. Home was my anchor. I needed to be moored. When I arrived at the house, it was five-thirty, just when I had told the children to expect me. I was surprised that they weren't waiting outside--two beautiful little pearls of my own, Johnny hanging off the front porch rail, Kikit playing hopscotch along the gently curved walk.

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