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Becky Weston might be brave, funny, and smart, but she's scarcely living the life of her dreams. A single mother, she's put herself through six years of night law school after her divorce. She has a headstrong teenage daughter and an eccentric elderly mother who demand what's left of her time. Long gone are the predivorce trappings of affluence -- the Spanish-style house with a view of the Pacific, the Volvo in the garage; now she can barely make the payments on her tiny house in the upscale Southern California community of La Jolla. And what's a first wife to do when her ex-husband dies and leaves his younger, sexier, and greedier second wife wielding the purse strings on all of his assets? There's no time even to think about looking for a relationship, and as the oldest new associate in the aspiring law firm where Becky started out as the receptionist, she's expected to devote the second half of her now manless life to nothing but work. When glamorous anti-aging guru Bobbie Crystol, the author of a bestselling book about life extension, strides into the firm and offers Becky the chance to represent her interests on the West Coast, the offer seems too good to be true. No matter that Dr. Crystol -- who brandishes designer outfits and earrings like Christmas ornaments on steroids -- turns out to be Becky's archnemesis from college. The firm needs the business and Becky needs the client. But when some of the doctor's patients leave the life-extension spa sicker than when they entered, Becky begins to have doubts about the frantic pursuit of longevity at the expense of living well. Trying to hang on to both her legal career and her integrity, Becky not only learns to let go of bad choices but also devises a foolproof exit strategy, a strategy that proves to have unexpected dividends....
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Catherine Todd lived for several years in Costa Rica and Italy and for extended periods of time in France and Mexico. She has taught English literature and French in the United States and abroad. Todd and her husband currently live in San Diego, California, where she also writes highly specialized permanent residency petitions for exceptionally talented immigrants to the United States. Her previous books include Making Waves and Staying Cool. Exit Strategics is her eighth book.From Publishers Weekly:
More soap opera than suspense, this hardcover debut from Todd (Making Waves; Staying Cool) introduces Becky Weston Pratt, a woman swimming upstream with her adolescent daughter, college student son and ailing mother in tow and with sharks nipping at her from every side. Todd has given her heroine all kinds of obstacles to overcome: her ex-husband has died and left his spiteful new wife in charge of the kids' trust fund; Becky has risen from the position of receptionist to become a first-year associate at a law firm, though the partners still treat her more like a gofer than a fellow lawyer. Even her big break a hugely successful anti-aging guru chooses Becky to represent her comes with baggage, beginning with the fact that they were less than friendly in college. And Becky's mother is having behavioral and medical problems that tax both her pocketbook and her patience. Between domestic crises and professional demands, Becky hardly has time to do more than dream about a personal life. A lot of possible shenanigans further distract her abuse of the trust fund, lawyerly backstabbing, the questionable medical ethics of her new client. Todd infuses Becky's determination to overcome all these difficulties with a self-deprecating humor and plenty of mordant observations on the foibles of her social and professional "betters." Todd's characters have little depth, but they glitter quite nicely as she sets them spinning and makes Becky navigate through them to a safe harbor. Agent, Denise Marcil.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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