Did she once have a sister? Has her mother lied all these years? Why?
After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the North Carolina coast where she grew up. She goes there to heal—and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who's asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house. The last person she wants to see is the wealthy, controlling mother she escaped years ago.
Instead, she finds herself living next door to someone else she'd prefer to avoid—Rafe Romero, the wild, reckless boy to whom she lost her virginity at sixteen. He's back on the island, and to her surprise, he's raising a young daughter alone. Maisey's still attracted to him, but her heart's too broken to risk…
Then something even more disturbing happens. She discovers a box of photographs that evoke distant memories of a little girl, a child Keith remembers, too. Maisey believes the girl must've been their sister, but their mother claims there was no sister.
Maisey's convinced that child existed. So where is she now?
Heartbreaking story about a family tragedy, second chances at love, and new beginnings.
Maisey returns to her home, a little island at South Carolina coast, at the time when her life is a complete mess. She is still grieving for her daughter, who dies two years ago, at the age of six weeks. Her husband had cheated on her and left here for the other woman, her career is at a standstill, as she lost her creativity, her brother is battling a drug addiction, and her mother, well she has a reputation of being a cruel and a cold woman. And the first thing she finds out after arriving to the island is, that the boy whom she lost her virginity to live next door.
If all this would not be enough of drama in one person's life, she might have had a sister. And all the evidence is pointing out that a family member might have killed her.
The story is well written and build, there's a good balance between the drama and the romance. The relationship with Rafe is developing fast. His daughter is an absolute joy, and the moments with her one of the highlights of the story for me.
The mystery of the third child brings lots of old feelings, to the surface, causing tension and strain, not only in the family, but also in the town, it seems.
There are several twists in the story, that took a surprising turn in the tale. Can't say it was predictable in any way.
The characters are well built, had depth in them, they are not perfect in any way, but realistic, with problems and flaws. The love and affection Rafe shows to Maisey is tender and dear. He is supportive and protective, willing to take the extra steps and effort, her dysfunctional family seems to need.
Many deep and difficult issues are brought forward in this story, that made me thing and ponder. Not a book you can internalize in a couple of hours, but something to be savored over time.
~ Five Spoons