Wedding at White Sands

Graysonís Surrender by Catherine Mann
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1175, $4.75, PG) ISBN 0-373-27245-6
Graysonís Surrenderís background is the evacuation, care and ultimate placement of orphans from war ravaged countries. The U.S. government provides the transportation and medical evaluation staff, and a non-governmental civilian relief team has the responsibility for care and placement.

Grayson Clark is an Air Force pilot as well as a surgeon who is serving as the relief pilot and medical evaluator of the more traumatized and injured children prior to their removal from what appears to be an active conflict in Eastern Europe. Lori Rutledge is the social worker in charge of the relief team accompanying the Air Force mission.

Lori and Grayson have a history just barely one year in the past. Commitment shy Grayson had been the one to walk away, and neither has ever truly recovered. Graysonís flight crew contrived to place them together for this mission two weeks before he is due to transfer out of Charleston, SC, to the west coast, hoping that he will come to his senses and reclaim Lori.

While Gray and Lori are examining the children, one of them seems to bond instantly with Lori. On landing, the child, Magda, refuses to be parted from her.

The adoption for Magda falls through and Lori applies for and receives authorization to provide temporary foster care for her. Her medical condition draws Gray back into the picture, and he has decided that the very least he can do for Lori is to fashion some type of peace between them. His master plan is to try and create the family unity for Lori and Magda he knows he was incapable of providing Lori himself.

Both Lori and Gray are still in love with each other, but each is unwilling to offer or settle for what the other one appears to need. B>Graysonís Surrender enlarges the playing field, bringing into the equation a small frightened orphan, so now there are three people bounded by their insecurities.

Both Loriís and Grayís insecurities arose from their own childhoods, and it is interesting to watch Catherine Mann begin to put their childhood fears to rest by the presence of another child. The author clearly understands children and their reactions to adults as well as their inherent ability to manipulate them.

Graysonís Surrender is poignant in part, hopeful in part and realistic in the whole. Mann has created credible characters who are consistently well developed and who interact through swiftly changing scenes in a well-paced story. In addition, the story is greatly enriched by the topical inclusion of the displacement of children in war torn areas.

--Thea Davis

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