By Christine Duncan
Treble Heart Books - 2002
ISBN: 1931742855 - Trade Paperback
Reviewed by: Robyn Glazer, MyShelf.Com
Kaye Berreano loves her job as a counselor at Beginnings, a women's safe house, that shelters abused women. Her shift is at night and while she does not mind, her husband sure did. His infidelities, supposedly Kaye's fault for leaving him all alone, have caused her to file for divorce. When Kaye arrives at work one night, she is upset to find Roger waiting for her, eager to rehash old fights. Although she manages to get rid of him, the bad luck for this night is only starting. Threatening calls, in-house fighting and her soon- to-be-ex-husband, all have Kaye on edge.
During the night, Kaye begins to smell smoke and immediately springs into action, trying to get all the women and children to safety. She manages with all but one woman, who perishes in the fire. Kaye feels enormous guilt until she realizes that it wasn't her fault. In fact, this fire just might have been deliberate and Kaye must figure out a way to shield her women from any further attack all the while protecting herself as well.
Safe Beginnings is a story that is told from the viewpoint of Kaye, who pulls you in immediately. Her life is identifiable but not mundane. Her passion for her work is what makes her such a complete character. The backdrop of the women's shelter is scarily realistic and portrayed in a way that teaches without lecturing. I really enjoyed reading this book and hope that this is the beginning of a long series.
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