• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 7, 2016)
One woman struggling to hold on to what she has. . . .
One woman learning to forgive. . . .
Their lives entwined by one little girl.
Sarah Hargreave is anxious to finalize the adoption of her foster daughter, Leila. Once a foster child herself, Sarah longs to become Leila’s “forever” family and give her all the love and stability she was denied in her own childhood. When Leila’s biological mother suddenly reappears and petitions the court for the return of her daughter, Sarah is terrified she’ll lose the little girl she loves to the drug- addicted mother who abandoned her.
Having grown up in foster care, Ilona Cartwright is a lawyer who fights for the rights of children who have no one to fight for them. But to Sarah she is Nonie Blanchard, who grew up in the same group foster home as Sarah. They’d promised to be best friends forever, but then Nonie was adopted by a wealthy family, and Sarah never heard from her again. Sarah still hurts from the betrayal. But Nonie harbors her own resentment toward the past.
Mistrustful of each other, the two women form a tenuous alliance to ensure Leila’s future, but when Leila’s very survival is on the line, they’ll have to come to terms with their own feelings of hurt and rejection to save the child they both have come to love.
Review: This is a book that you probably shouldn't judge by the cover. If you do, you might think you are getting a beach read. This is not a beach read, unless you are a lucky person that can hold back tears. I'm not. By page 25 I was crying and that was only just the beginning.
This book is heartbreaking at times and nerve wracking. I'm not usually one for books that make me nervous, but I became emotionally invested in Sarah and Leila's story and I really wanted to find out what happened to the letters both Nonie and Sarah wrote to each other but never received. I had some ideas, but I really wanted to know the truth.
Sarah is a woman who has been through the foster system and is now looking to adopt her foster daughter, only the bio mother wants her back. That brings a whole new level of angst to the story. My heart raced every time Leila had to spend time with her bio mother. I wanted to shake the young caseworker who was handling her case.
This is no light read. It kept me on the edge of my seat, more so than if I were reading a thriller, because a child's life was at stake here.
There's more to the story than Sarah and Leila. We also get the point of view of Reesa, Leila's original caseworker and Sarah's friend. To a lessor extent, we see Nonie. I would have liked to have got to know her a bit better. I wish I could have liked her more. She was really a cold woman. Sure she was shaped by her upbringing, but there was no heart there at all. Though things will get resolved, and you will get answers, and they were a little obvious as well, but I wanted more between Sarah and Nonie. These women considered themselves sisters at one point, I think they deserved better resolution.
I really enjoyed this book, which is unusual for me, since I don't usually love books that take me on a huge emotional roller coaster the way this one did. I shed many tears while reading this book, but at the end I was crying my eyes out.
This an emotionally charged book. You will shed more than a few tears while reading this one. It was a truly beautiful read.
Rating: 5 flowers
Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer and has worked on a number of films. She lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to visit lighthouses and vintage carousels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.
Find out more about Shelley at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.