PRECIOUS AND FRAGILE THINGS Megan Hart
MIRA
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2924-4
January 2011
Fiction

Pennsylvania , the Present

Gilly Soloman should be happy. She loves her husband and two young children, but sometimes life just seems too overwhelming. Her time isn't her own; she never gets a chance at uninterrupted peace or healing solitude. And a tiny fear hides at the back of her mind that she might go as mad as her mother had. These are the reasons that she does the unthinkable. She hesitates too long and doesn't make her escape when she has the opportunity.

When the young man with a knife carjacks Gilly, she manages to get her babies out of the car and leave them in a safe place before the man makes her drive on. But she fails to save herself when they stop for gas, and she winds up stuck with her captor in a cabin in the mountains during the worst blizzard to hit the area in decades.

Todd Blauch never wanted to kidnap anyone; he just wants the SUV to take him to the cabin he'd inherited from his Uncle Bill. He assures Gilly he's not a bad man, but he can't let her go. He'd die if he went back to jail. Realizing he has to keep Gilly, he tries his best to treat her kindly. Fortunately, Todd was prepared to stay indefinitely in the cabin and had stocked the place with food and firewood.

As days turn into weeks, fear and illness take their toll on Gilly, so, surprisingly, does boredom beset them both. The more she learns of Todd and his unhappy background, the less she fears him. Yet, what would she not do to atone for her moment's weakness and get back to her loved ones?

And what would Todd not do to keep from being sent back to prison?

It was hard for me to connect with Gilly after her moment of weakness, yet if she had been a prefect heroine, or Todd a more evil person, the situation would not have been as riveting as it is. The story has its highs and lows with twists and suspense, and even contains moving moments. It's definitely not a romance, nor is it erotic or speculative as are Ms. Hart's other works. What it is, is very well written straight fiction carried by two wounded souls trying to cope.

Jane Bowers