Cover image for The most wanted
Title:
The most wanted
Author:
Mitchard, Jacquelyn.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1998.
Physical Description:
xii, 407 pages, 6 unnumbered pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780670878840
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The Most Wanted, Jacquelyn Mitchard's incandescent new novel, bursts into life with the bright flash of a forest fire -- in a story about the unreasoning power of love that sweeps us up from its first few lines and holds us in its spell to the very end.Arley Mowbray, only fourteen years old, is dreaming her life away in South Texas when -- defying all earthly logic -- she falls in love, at hurricane force, with an outlaw and secretly becomes his wife. Public-aid lawyer Annie Singer, whose own careful, well-ordered life is catapulted into change from the moment she meets Arley, will become first the girl's advocate and defender, then the closest thing to a loving mother Arley will ever have. What happens to Arley and her husband, Dillon LeGrande, is the stuff of legend. He will break out of prison on a terrifying errand, but is it to claim his wife and their baby daughter or to destroy them? His love will put them into nearly unthinkable danger -- danger Arley and even Annie will find too compelling to ignore, too seductive to flee.No other writer has Mitchard's fierce, brave, and tender insights into the bonds of mothers and daughters. Larger than life, yet the very stuff of life itself, The Most Wanted is the tour de force that the millions who treasure The Deep End of the Ocean have been waiting for.The new novel by the author of The Deep End of the Ocean -- a story of doomed compassion and reckless love that breaks all the rules


Author Notes

Jacquelyn Mitchard was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 10, 1957. She studied creative writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1976, she became a journalist and eventually achieved the position as lifestyle columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper. Her weekly column, The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship, appeared in 125 newspapers nationwide until she retired it in 2007.

She is the author of children's, young adult, and adult books. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the first selection for Oprah's Book Club and was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years. It was also adapted into a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Her other adult novels include The Breakdown Lane; Twelve Times Blessed; Christmas, Present; A Theory of Relativity; The Most Wanted; Cage of Stars; and Still Summer. Her children's books include Starring Prima!: The Mouse of the Ballet Jolie; Rosalie, My Rosalie: The Tale of a Duckling; and Ready, Set , School! Her young adult books include Now You See Her; All We Know of Heaven; and The Midnight Twins series.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Mitchard's riveting first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean (1996), hit the best-seller jackpot when Oprah selected it as her first book-club title. Such extraordinary success could easily induce a writer to churn out a slick second act, but Mitchard has seen too much of life and worked too hard both as a newspaper columnist and as a novelist to compromise her considerable gifts, so her new book, set in south Texas, is even more daring and powerful than her debut. She presents us with two heroines: Annie Singer, a public defender, and Arlington ("Arley") Mowbray, a lovely 14-year-old raised by a mother with ice water for blood. Arley is so unversed in love of any kind that she falls into a fantasy of an affair with a man serving time for armed robbery. Dillon Thomas is impossibly handsome, writes poetry, and has the nerve to propose marriage to Arley, then insist that his child bride retain a lawyer to force the reluctant authorities to permit a conjugal visit. Annie, who is suffering her own confusion over marriage, takes the case and ultimately becomes Arley's protector as her ill-fated romance erupts into violence. This is a superb, supple, and involving headline melodrama deepened by Mitchard's poetic variations on the myth of Demeter and Persephone and Alfred Noyes' haunting poem, "The Highwayman," her remembering just exactly what innocence feels like, as well as love's demise, and her great skill in spicing pathos with wit, charm, and downright sexiness. So good a read is this, Mitchard fans will want more, and will do well to check out Jodi Picoult's novels, or Cindy Bonner's wonderful Texas sagas. (Reviewed April 15, 1998)0670878847Donna Seaman


Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite portentous foreshadowing, Mitchard second novel never achieves the dramatic momentum and the emotional immediacy of her acclaimed fiction debut, The Deep End of the Ocean. But her depiction of two female protagonists is so large-hearted and wise that readers undoubtedly will be engrossed in their story. At 14, Arlington "Arley" Mowbray is a sensitive, conscientious and atypical teenager in a small, tacky South Texas town. She writes poetry, for one thing, and, instead of dating boys, she is a virtual slave to her hard-as-nails mother, whose lack of maternal instincts is shocking. When love-starved Arley begins corresponding with 23-year-old Dillon Thomas LeGrande, in jail for armed robbery, she is seduced by the poetry he writes and, with the reluctant help of public defender Annie Singer, gains permission to marry him. Soon, protective Annie takes a pregnant Arley into her home and heart, complicating her own relationship with her fiancé, a death-row lawyer. Eventually, Dillon's true nature as a psychopath erupts, putting Arley and others in mortal danger. Mitchard's facility with intertwining plot lines results in a surprise-packed conclusion (with perhaps one surprise too many). Her depiction of the dizzy rapture of first love, and her insights into the maternal bond (Arley's with her infant daughter; Annie's with Arley, her surrogate daughter) are deeply affecting. Yet readers will find a troubling credibility problem. That studious Arley can transcend her culturally bereft upbringing is at least plausible, but it is unlikely that bad-boy Dillon would have the sensibility, background or vocabulary to create the poems attributed to him (actually written by Mitchard's friend, poet Sharron Singleton). Since so much of the plot hinges on Dillon's gift for poetry, the reader is keenly aware of this major flaw. Simultaneous Penguin audio; major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; author tour. (June) FYI: Mitchard borrows the name of a Chicago bookstore, Women and Children First, for the name of Annie Singer's law firm. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Mitchard, whose first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was selected as part of Oprah Winfrey's book club, will disappoint many fans with this less than stellar second effort, which she reads to mixed success. She creates a cast of characters so dysfunctional they seem unreal. The story unfolds through the voices of Arlington Mowbray and Annie Singer. Arlington is 14 and recently married to a felon in a south Texas prison. Annie is a lawyer working for a women's defense association. Annie is drawn to Arlington as a mother to her child. The story quickly gets mired in gritty accounts of abusive and destructive relationships. Not recommended, though Oprah's fans may clamor for this.‘Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

YA‘Teen readers will connect with Arley Mowbray's thought processes if not with her unusual situation. Against the advice of others and her own common sense, the 14-year-old falls in love with, marries, and bears the child of Dillon, who resides in prison until he escapes. Their attraction grew through writing letters, and Arley knew little of the man Dillon had become. She is determined to raise her child under better conditions than she experienced, and is helped on many levels by her friend Annie Singer. The various types and dimensions of motherhood subtly come through in the well-designed characterizations. The writing is skilled enough to make readers care about the direction Arley's life takes, and the plot twists and vivid characters are sure to appeal to many YAs.‘Catherine Charvat, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.