Southern Scribe
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 Women's Fiction Review   

By Jeanne Ray
Shaye Archeart Books, 2002
Hardcover, $22.95  (227 pages)
ISBN: 0-609-61003-1

If Shakespeare and Lucille Ball (without the deception) had collaborated on a novel, it would be something like Jeanne Ray's Step·Ball·Change -- light, amusing, and perfectly paced. 

Even now, with dual careers and as the parents of four grown children, Caroline and Tom are rarely alone. Their youngest son, George, is living with them while finishing law school. Their daughter, Kay, who works with her dad in the Raleigh public defender's office drops by unannounced at all hours with hungry friends in tow. Woodrow, their contractor, came to build a Florida room and never left. 

Finding herself in her house with no signs of anyone being around, Caroline has prepared a home cooked dinner and Tom has put on a Stan Getz record. "There was potential for romance written all over it" until the phone rings. Watching her meal congeal and Tom's plans go awry, Caroline listens as her daughter Kay sobs. She's just become engaged to the richest and most eligible bachelor in town and can't stop crying. 

Meanwhile, the "children's" phone rings, and Caroline's sister, Taffy, is calling. Like her niece, she's weeping. After almost forty years of marriage, her husband has decided to leave her for a woman two years younger than her daughter. 

The story juxtaposes planning a nine hundred plus guest wedding with a marriage coming unstuck while the foundation of the house under the threat of collapse with hilarious results. Step·Ball·Change offers the guilty pleasure of fine chocolate with none of the calories and is completely irresistible. 

Jeanne Ray lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is the author of the New York Times' bestseller, Julie and Romeo.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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