Publisher: Penguin Group Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Genre: Woman’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (adult)
Hardback 432 pages
My source: Netgalley
It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.
Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.
Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.
I was hooked on this book by the time I finished the short prologue! Starts out in 1955 with a plane wreck. Debris falling in Edith Heyward’s garden. No survivors. A suitcase with neatly packed clothes and a letter from a wife tucked inside lands in her garden. The shocking letter dropped from Edith’s hand and floated underneath her new white refrigerator. She didn’t retrieve it. It was too shocking to even think about. The doorbell rings and its the police with the news that her husband Calhoun has been killed in an accident. His car smashed into a tree, probably distracted by the plane falling from the sky.
Then we shift to 2014, and Edith’s grandson’s widow has inherited Edith’s home and all the mysteries that go with it. Merritt’s widowed stepmother shows up with her 10 year old stepbrother just as she is getting settled. Merritt is not happy with this as she has never forgiven her father or Loralee for their marriage years after Merritt’s mother died. Two woman couldn’t be more different. Merritt a straight laced, private person from Maine and Loralee a loving, talkative, giving woman from the south. Loralee seems to have a mission and not much time to achieve it. She keeps a journal. Keeping it with her all the time and writing down important things she thinks of…
That’s pretty much sums up the journey of the women in this story.The chapters alternate between Merritt and Loralee’s narration and occasionally we go back to Edith and her grandson’s over the years after the plane crash. Many coincidences are slowly revealed. Secrets and mysteries are unfolded. And all the while you are falling in love with Loralee and Merritt. But be warned, you will cry reading this wonderful book! I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.