DAISY'S BACK IN TOWN
Avon February 2004
Reviewed by Sissy Jacobson
Everybody in small town Lovett, Texas, knows that Daisy Lee Brooks, Steven Monroe, and Jackson Lamott Parrish had always been best friends. They just donít know the whole story.
Growing up they shared secrets, silly jokes, and just hung out together. In high school the guys played football while Daisy Lee cheered them on in her cute little cheerleader costume and pom poms. There was never a day the three didnít love each other. They made a pact: neither guy would date Daisy. They didnít want anything to come between their friendship. However, during their senior year, Daisy and Jackís love grew too strong to ignore. They kept it a secret from everyone, including Steven, but managed to sneak time alone as much as possible. Then tragedy struck when they were eighteen. Jackís parents were killed in an automobile accident. Their happy, carefree days were over.
Jack, overwhelmed with grief, had to plan the double funeral, think about raising his younger brother, and somehow save the failing family business. When Daisy starts to become unreasonably jealous and more clinging, Jack feels he canít handle one more problem. He asks Daisy for some time apart in order to get his life on track. The next thing he knows, Daisy and Steven are standing in his yard telling him they had married that afternoon. Jack lost the love of his life and his best friends that day.
Fifteen years later, Steven has been dead seven months, and DAISYíS BACK IN TOWN for a very special reason. She promised Steven she would tell Jack in person about the secret they kept from him for fifteen years, and hand deliver a letter Steven had written before he became too ill to write. The problem is, Jack doesnít want Daisy anywhere near him, and every time she tries to talk with him, somebody or something gets in the way. Itís almost time for her to return to Washington and her son, but she still hasnít had a chance to talk to Jack.
I loved the basic storyline in DAISYíS BACK IN TOWNÖ three friends who do everything possible to preserve their friendship all through their childhood and teen years, Daisy and Jackís secret love, and Stevenís closely guarded secret love for Daisy. Daisyís love for Steven grows and until Stevenís death, they have a happy, loving marriage, and a son to whom Steven was a wonderful father. The book led me to believe Daisy was the typical, appropriately dressed, sophisticated suburban wife of an attorney. And during the two years of Stevenís illness, she devoted herself to his care, seeing to it that he was able to keep his dignity as long as possible.
After Daisy returns to Lovett, my picture of her changes. Granted, the underlying love between Daisy and Jack is still there, but the descriptions of the way Daisy dresses, and the constant emphasis on the sexual tension between Daisy and Jack, the scene outside the backdoor of the Road Kill Bar, and on the trunk of one of Jackís cars, demeans Daisy and makes her look like a slut. It doesnít do much for the astute, wealthy businessman Jack is either. I would have liked Ms. Gibson to use more of her wonderful secondary characters to flesh out the story, and place less emphasis on the graphic sexual tension and scenes. This is my own opinion, but I really feel the book could have been so much better focusing on love instead of lust and sex.
Rachel Gibson is a wonderful writer using humor to round out her characters. My favorite book by her will always be SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE, but DAISYíS BACK IN TOWN is runner-up, except for the problems I mentioned.
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