Atria, Hardcover, 9780671014186, 368pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2001
Three best friends, all with the same birthday, are about to turn forty. They plan to share this momentous occasion together at a summerhouse in Maine, talking up a storm and taking stock of their lives and loves, their wishes and choices. But none of them expect the gift that awaits them at the summerhouse: the chance for each of them to turn their "what-might-have-beens" into reality....
Leslie Headrick, Madison Appleby, and Ellie Abbott met nineteen years ago in the most unlikely place: stuck in line at the New York City Department of Motor Vehicles. Not only did they each turn twenty-one on that memorable day, but on that day, they shared with each other their past secrets and their hopes for the future. They were three beautiful and extraordinarily talented young women with the world theirs for the taking. But life doesn't always go according to one's youthful imaginings. Leslie, now a suburban wife and mother, is refusing to listen to what people are saying about her husband and his beautiful assistant. Instead, she follows the career of a boy who pursued her in college: he's now a presidential hopeful. What would her life be like if she had chosen differently? Madison dropped a modeling career to help her high school boyfriend recover from an accident, even though he'd jilted her. Years later, he was on his feet again and Madison had met Thomas, the man who was all she'd ever dreamed of. But by that time Madison knew she had no right to Thomas' love. What if she had said "no" when her old boyfriend had called? Ellie became a famous, bestselling novelist, but when she grew tired of supporting her narcissistic, philanderinghusband, she divorced him. What was done to her in the divorce court cost her not only all of her earnings from her writing, but also her belief in herself. More that anything, Ellie needed to know why she'd been so brutalized by the "justice" system, and could she prevent its happening the second time around?
Now, as Leslie, Madison, and Ellie reunite at the summerhouse, each ?nds a puzzling card from a "Madame Zoya," offering them the chance of a lifetime: to relive any three months from the past. Will the road not taken prove a better path? Each woman will have to decide for herself as she follows the dream that got away...and each must choose the life that will truly satisfy the longings that live deep inside her heart.