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Literature & Fiction->Contemporary

In 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