A special thank you to Penguin and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Julie Lawson Timmer
returns following her heart-wrenching debut, Five Days Left,
landing on my Top 30 Books of 2014,
-- an emotional domestic suspense of blended families and the powerful ties that bind.Char Hawthorn,
had a great life. A freelance editor, happily married to a college professor, Bradley and stepmother to his Allie, a fifteen-year-old in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.However,
when her perfectionist husband dies suddenly in a car accident, she is left to pick up the pieces and contend with Allie’s biological mother, Lindy. The threat she may be separated from her step-daughter with a pending move to California. Her step-mom is not mother quality.
In the meantime, there is another storyline creating tensions. Allie’s connection to Morgan, a ten-year-old-girl she has been tutoring—a troubled girl caught up in foster care, now adopted, who self-harms. Char attempts to hold it all together throughout the drama.There are cracks and fissures,
with non-traditional family units; grief, struggles, emotions, relationships, balancing, defining roles, failings, trials, and those caught in the middle and crossfires. From emotionally
abused children, special needs, motherhood, step-parenting, frustrations and resentments-- a suspenseful exploration of the human psyche, its complexities, and the resilience of family, with a domestic psychological literary twist.
Timmer once again explores what makes a family means, and the outcome when bonds are tested.