Heart's Desire by Laura Pedersen
A Novel

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Card sharp and former wild child Hallie Palmer is in college now–and Bernard Stockton, her legal guardian, has suddenly appeared during final exams. He’s hysterical about his recent breakup with his longtime boyfriend, Gil, and wants to enlist Hallie in a scheme to win Gil back. So Hallie returns to Cosgrove County, Ohio, for the summer, to her job as live-in yard person for Bernard and his delightfully oddball mother, Olivia. Also present are Ottavio, Olivia’s hot-tempered Italian lover, who’s desperate for a wedding; Rocky, a chimpanzee who’s one Singapore Sling away from an AA meeting for primates; and Hallie’s own ever-expanding family, which she fled as soon as she could slide down the drainpipe.

Around town, folks assume that since Hallie isn’t in jail, she clearly has no problems of her own and can therefore tackle theirs. But Hallie has plenty of troubles–a looming tuition bill, gambling temptations, and an ex-boyfriend who’s back in town for the summer to upset any potential if highly unlikely (a girl can dream!) romantic flings.

Yet as Hallie and company navigate life’s unexpected paths of games lost and love found, the real truth begins to emerge: With friends, family, and a place to call home, your heart’s desire is always within reach.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Laura Pedersen

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Laura Pedersen writes for The New York Times and is the author of Play Money, Going Away Party, Beginner's Luck (chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), Last Call, Heart's Desire, The Sweetest Hours, and The Big Shuffle.
Published December 18, 2007 by Ballantine Books. 418 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Instead of developing her secondary characters, Pederson reverts to types: Cappy the rascally bookmaker, Olivia the bohemian matriarch, Ottavio the passionate Italian, Bernard the gay cliché.

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Heart's Desire: A Novel

Teen Reads

While excelling at helping others with their troubles, Hallie falters when it comes to making sense of her own romantic life, and a new love interest combined with an ongoing attraction to her old high school flame doesn't help matters.

Jul 26 2005 | Read Full Review of Heart's Desire: A Novel

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