Release Date: April 1, 1999
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When Jack McGill is awoken in the middle of the night by a phone call, his life turns upside-down. His ex-wife Rachel’s car has tumbled over a guard rail near her home in Big Sur, and she is in a coma. He hurries to her side, more for their daughters’ sake than for Rachel’s, still not understanding why she left him six years before. But Samantha and Hope need him, and he is their father.
When he arrives at the hospital, he is met by Katherine, Rachel’s best friend, who speaks for Rachel when Rachel can’t.
Stepping back into family life, Jack has to deal with a withdrawn Hope, a belligerent Samantha, and a protective Katherine – all, while he faces a professional crisis back in San Francisco. In the hours that he sits by Rachel’s bedside, he reminisces about their marriage, learns about the new Rachel from her daughters, her friends, and her art, and weighs his career against being part of the family again.
“A winner….Delinsky delivers an emotion-packed journey…firmly cementing her status as a bestselling writer of top-notch books.”
“The road to recovery for both Jack and Rachel makes for a heartwarming story.”
—Star Tribune (MN)
“Delinsky [writes]… with simple prose and a deliberate avoidance of happily-ever-after clichés.”
WHEN THE PHONE rang, Rachel Keats was painting sea otters. She was working in oils and had finally gotten the right mix of black for the eyes. There was no way she was stopping to pick up the phone. She had warned Samantha about that.
'Hi! You've reached Rachel, Samantha, and Hope. We're otherwise occupied. Please leave your name and number, and we'll call you back. Thanks.'
Through a series of beeps, she applied a smudge of oil with a round brush. Then came a deep male voice that was too old to be calling for Samantha. Rachel would have pictured a gorgeous guy to go with the voice, but he'd said his name too fast. This man wasn't gorgeous. He was a ticket agent, a friend of a friend, more sleeze than style, but apparently good at his job. 'I have in my hand three tickets for tonight's Garth Brooks concert,' he said. 'San Jose. Goooood seats. I need to hear from you in five minutes or I'm moving down my list —'
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The challenge in this book was in creating a complete, complex character when that character, the heroine, is comatose for most of the story. My publisher was wary, as was my agent. But I never doubted that it would work. I knew that the picture painted by Rachel’s daughters, her friends, and her art would be thorough and rich.
‘I loved writing this story. It was a departure from my other writing in many ways … written from a male point of view, set in California (as opposed to New England), making use of flashbacks. At its heart, though, it is the story of getting back to what’s important in life. That’s a familiar theme of mine. ‘
Coast Road is special in one other regard. Katherine, Rachel’s best friend, is a breast cancer survivor. The amazing response of readers to this feisty and successful woman led to my non-fiction book, Uplift: Secrets From the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors. I will be forever grateful to Katherine for that.
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