Flirting with Pete by Barbara Delinsky

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Synopsis

In Flirting with Pete, bestselling author Barbara Delinsky weaves together two fascinating narratives that merge in a dramatic, highly emotional, and totally unexpected conclusion, as a daughter's struggle to win the approval of the father she never knew becomes a journey of self-discovery.

Casey Ellis has arrived at a lonely place in her life. Her mother remains in a comatose state several years after a terrible accident -- and now her father has died.
Although Casey didn't really know him -- never met him, in fact -- she had held out an oblique hope that someday this man, Dr. Cornelius Unger, a celebrated psychologist, might acknowledge her. In an attempt to please him, she even went into his field and became a counselor, to no avail.
It comes as a shock, therefore, when she learns that he has left her his beautiful townhouse in Boston's exclusive Beacon Hill section. She is of half a mind to sell it and use the money to care for her mother, but then she visits the townhouse and finds it enchanting. In fact, any chance she might have had of resisting the house is lost when she falls in love with the hidden garden out back. Sweetening the deal is the maid, a woman close to her age, who cooks and cleans and wants only to please her; and the gardener, a man who is as enigmatic as he is handsome.
Yet always in Casey's mind is the question of why Cornelius Unger chose to acknowledge her in this way. Sensing that he had an ulterior motive, she searches the house and finds the first part of a manuscript that could be a novel, a journal, or a case study of one of her father's clients. The manuscript tells the harrowing story of a young woman named Jenny who was sexually abused by her father and emotionally abused by her mother. When her mother was murdered, her father was sent to prison. Now, after only six years in jail, he is about to be released, and Jenny knows she has to escape. Her way out appears in the form of a mysterious stranger, a dream of a man named Pete, who shows up on his motorcycle and offers to whisk her away.
Convinced the story is true -- even more, that her father has left this manuscript as a message for her -- Casey sets out to find the rest of the pages. With the discovery of each additional segment, she learns more about Jenny, about herself, and about Cornelius Unger, who she realizes has planned this journey for her, actually begun the first day she set foot in his house. The manuscript proves to be the key to understanding not only her father's past but also that of the man she has come to love.
Flirting with Pete reaches its climax with a startling twist, one that explores the role of imagination in our everyday lives. Through Jenny's story, Casey gains insight into her own life as she vacillates between what she wants to be true and what actually is. With unflinching grace, Barbara Delinsky delves into the human psyche as it colors contemporary family life. Flirting with Pete is sure to touch a personal chord with readers and win her even more dedicated fans.
 

About Barbara Delinsky

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Barbara Delinsky is a New York Times bestselling author with more than thirty million copies of her books in print. She has been published in twenty-five languages worldwide. A lifelong New Englander, Barbara earned a B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology at Boston College. Barbara enjoys knitting, photography, and cats. She also loves to interact with her readers through her website at www.barbaradelinsky.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bdelinsky, and on Twitter as @BarbaraDelinsky.
 
Published June 10, 2003 by Scribner. 560 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Flirting with Pete

Publishers Weekly

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While Casey looks for clues to Jenny's identity and fate, and how it all ties in with her father, she simultaneously finds romance with Jordan, a gardener who turns out to be an undercover detective also tied in with Jenny.

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Book Reporter

Casey's own life experiences run parallel to those of Jenny's when she attempts to solve the puzzle of Jenny's disappearance.

Apr 27 2004 | Read Full Review of Flirting with Pete

The Best Reviews

She also becomes involved with a manuscript her father left for her about a woman who he treated as an outcast by the town she lives in and is afraid of the father who is coming home from prison after six years for killing her mother.

Jun 10 2003 | Read Full Review of Flirting with Pete

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