Crossing the Line
Lauren Baratz-Logsted
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Buy *Crossing the Line* online

Crossing the Line

Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Red Dress Ink
320 pages
July 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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The story so far: the prequel to this book, The Thin Pink Line, ended with a surprising twist in which central character Jane Taylor coincidentally finds an abandoned newborn at the end of her nine-month-long fake pregnancy.

With surprising ease and enthusiasm, Jane takes the baby girl into her heart and home with the unexpected aid of Tolkien, the wonderful, loving man whom she’d given up to earlier to continue with her charade. Unwilling to conceal the truth any longer, she reveals her perfidy to all those affected by her charade, including her indignant family and outraged colleagues. But even more than her shocking revelation, it’s her newfound maternal maturity as well as baby Emma being black that surprises them all.

With the aid of more books and some natural deviousness, Jane resolves to adopt Emma and begins a hilarious journey through the red-tape government channels of Social Services, all the while juggling her promotion, newfound friends, flustered family, and affairs of the heart. Jane seemingly got away with her charade unscathed and with a lucrative book deal the first time around. Will her luck hold out again? Dare she hope for an encore?

This time, too, Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s refreshingly candid, irreverent and somewhat self-mocking narrative is delightful and witty. The madcap natal adventures of Britisher Jane Taylor continue, with an actual baby replacing her fake pregnancy. Besides taking a humorous look at the obsessions of the new parent, the author smoothly adds an edge to the already volatile story by making baby Emma of African origins. The resultant mismatched dynamics seem to throw just about everybody but Jane and Emma off stride. The due and tedious processes of adoption, teenage runaways, gay lifestyle and other serious subjects are all explored cheerfully and charmingly. Jane’s newfound maturity in no way reins in her eccentric and Machiavellian behavior; rather, it adds flair and loans a sense of unexpected to the audaciously entertaining tale.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2004

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