Cover image for Moments of meaning
Moments of meaning
Allen, Charlotte Vale, 1941-
Publication Information:
Norwalk, CT : Island Nation Press LLC, 1998.

Physical Description:
223 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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n a panic, Lyle Maxwell takes the first flight out of Sydney and winds up in Perth, spending her days in the hotel swimming pool, trying to deal with the horror of her recent experiences with the man she had come to Australia to marry. Jimmy Ballard, an older former journalist -- intrigued and touched by the aura of trauma about Lyle -- approaches her, offering to act as tour guide and show her around the beautiful city. She finds herself telling Jimmy about things she's never before discussed: her famous comedian father who was anything but funny at home, her lifetime of anxiety, and the dreadful mistake she made in committing herself to a man she really didn't know. Jimmy assures her she's merely human; mistakes are allowed. It is an unexpected but valuable absolution. This chance meeting ultimately gives Lyle the strength to pull herself together. She returns home to discover that her previously well-ordered life has fallen into chaos. Her shop assistant is leaving and in Lyle's absence she has hired a young Vietnam vet as a replacement. This change in itself is upsetting but then Lyle learns she is seriously ill and must have surgery. While she is in the hospital, the running of her needlepoint shop is taken over by Jess Kelsey who gradually infiltrates her life and her affections. But Jess is suffering the effects of his experiences in Vietnam and before they can be together, they must be apart. In Jess's absence, believing he may never return, Lyle finally sheds her past history -- along with her business and her old attitudes -- and out of love and desperation, she reinvents herself.

Author Notes

Charlotte Vale Allen was born in Toronto, Canada, on January 19, 1941. She spent several years in England, where she worked as a singer and actress. After returning to Canada for a short time, she immigrated to the United States in 1966.

Allen began writing in 1970 and sold her first novel, Love Life, in 1974. Her 36 novels have sold seven million copies, most of which have been translated into more than 20 languages. In her novels, Allen attempts to offer optimism and insight on many issues women face. In her most celebrated work, an autobiography titled Daddy's Girl and published in 1980, Allen relates her experience as an abused child. She was listed as one of the 100 most borrowed authors in the United Kingdom by the British Public Library system in 1990. Other titles include Somebody's Baby and Claudia's Shadow.

A full-time writer since 1976, Allen also pursues interests in photography, cooking, and needlework.

(Bowker Author Biography)