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by David Saperstein
Infinite Words/Simon & Schuster, trade paperback $16.00, 314pp
Published: May 2015

This is from the author of the Cocoon books that more of us are probably familiar with as a movie.

Six women live in a retirement home and are inseparable best friends.  One day, the prankster of the group signs them all up for an advertisement soliciting “Mail Order Brides for Farmers & Miners – Distant Locations.”  It just wasn’t clear exactly where “distant” was until the night their car, being driven by a young nun from the home, was taken away by an eerie light on a lonely road.

Three years later, after their friends and family have mourned their mysterious loss, they reappear on the same road in the same car, minus two of their group.  When they arrive back at the home, their miraculous return is compounded by the fact they are all, less the nun, pregnant!  Amazingly, all their friends at the home rally around to support them, helping to hide them from the FBI who are investigating the strange anomaly on their radar. 

The reason for the return is a convoluted rationale that the women are expected to birth their hybrid alien babies on their home planet.  There is no horrible drama about alien probing, etc.; these women are happy new brides and mothers.  The problems are hiding them from the FBI and making sure the babies are birthed safety.  These problems are faced and solved with happy, cheerful glee by the author.  As with the Cocoon stories, the only real problems are quite human ones of making the right choices.

It was a light, happy book with no real thrill or suspense.  There was a lot of interesting discussion of the challenges of medically caring for alien-hybrid babies. Do not expect any scientific extrapolation in this book; Saperstein is much more concerned about how people feel about these possibilities.  It was a fun read and worth the money.  ~~  Catherine Book

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