An American author and journalist, she is best known for her 1996 novel The Deep End of the Ocean. Her other works include Cage of Stars, Second Nature-A Love Story, and No Time to Wave Goodbye.
She worked as a lifestyle columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Her novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the first selection for Oprah's Book Club.
She grew up in Chicago, Illinois as the daughter of a plumber and a store clerk. With her husband, Dan Allegretti, she had three children.
The Deep End of the Ocean was made into a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer.