Not Just Make Believe by Sandra Sookoo

Title: Not Just Make Believe

Author: Sandra Sookoo

Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.

Publication Date: December 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-936000-41-8

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 100 pages

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Rating: 3.75 Candy Canes

Heat : Sweet

Reviewer: Emma Edwards

Date: 30 November, 2009

Andrea Petercheff is an Assistant Manager at the Stansbury Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is assigned to oversee a young child, Piper Hamilton, who resides in the hotel. Piper is an orphan who lost her parents in 9/11. Her uncle, Max Gildenthall is her guardian and a total workaholic. Max battles his own nightmares and memories of the aftereffects of the tragedy. Andrea, Piper and Max each struggle to find happiness among the distrust and disillusion.

This is a heartwarming story of three individuals trying to find love and acceptance. Andrea is a character who is easy to like and you can identify with her insecurities as she comes into her own. Ms. Sookoo is able to impart an image of a woman who's striving to make a life for herself and tends to find herself in humorous situations. Piper is a love-starved child who is seeking love from her uncle and wanting a stable environment to grow up in. Max is a man overwhelmed by his grief and unable to face his responsibility to Piper fully; he's provided for all her material comforts but her emotional needs are far from fulfilled. As Andrea and Max interact, Piper sees a glimpse an alternate potential future. I really felt for Piper, such a brave little girl trying to define her own sense of normalcy. I didn't like the fact that Max indicated to Andrea that he was hiring also as his paid girlfriend, didn't really like the implications there. There were also a couple of moments in the story where it didn't flow as nicely as I would've liked it to but overall an easy read for a quiet afternoon. The story gives you a strong glimpse into the lives of the family members and friends of the 9/11 tragedy. It also showed you that in the worst of times, it is important to care for the living and to foster hope.

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