Back In Baby's Arms
by Tina Wainscott, contemporary (2001)
St Martin's Press, $5.99, ISBN 0-312-97688-7

The story within the pages of Back In Baby's Arms isn't as eeeek-worthy as my subsequent summary will seem to show. Trust me, the heroine isn't as much on drugs as you will think. " much" is the operative term here.

Maddie Schaeffer is called "Baby" by everyone. She was a very sick child, which I don't believe is an excuse to behave like a barnacle, but hey, that's just me. She is now an adult, and her husband calls her Baby too. When Wayne dies in her arms after a boating accident, she weeps - how will she deal with this? Never mind, Wayne promises that he will send her an angel from heaven to take care of her.

So she waits everyday in bitter tears. Until one day an amnesiac stranger literally sweeps in her life, and she lights up. An angel! An angel to call her Baby all over again!

If you are not puking by now, you have a higher tolerance than me. But I must admit this story has its charms. Ms Wainscott is no Nicholas Sparks or Nicholas Evans, thank heavens, so Maddie at least has some decent characterization. Mr Guardian Angel (note: he's human, by the way) is a decent fellow too. I'm told some men are hot for vulnerable fragile lilies who need their manly protection from the World Outside. So I'm okay with that too.

BIBA is a fluffy, sweet (too-sweet at times) "inspirational moments" story. Hey, I'm a nice woman, and I'm all for mentally not-there women finding love and happiness. Only, even at the last page, Maddie is still telling me that no, she doesn't care who her Mr Guardian Angel actually is or where he is going, as long as she is there with him. It will be nice to see Maddie actually grow up, but she remains untouched by her ordeals. Oh, now that he is here, she can be called baby baby baby babybabybabybabybabybaby again and the world is starry and bright once more!

Think of this book as an above average episode of Touched By An Angel. Cynics beware.

Rating: 65

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