By: Holly Robinson
Published: July 2, 2013
Juliet has been dumped by her husband, is pregnant, and now has to return to her home in New England to care for her mother whom she ran away from years ago. What Juliet doesn't realize is that going home will reveal secrets that will forever change how she views her family and her future.
The setting begins with Juliet, a successful artist living in Mexico. Her husband, Michael, has left her and she has recently found out she was pregnant. As she struggles with how to handle the chaos in her life, her brother, a successful and busy lawyer, asks her to return to the states to care for their mother after a fall breaks her hip. Not surprisingly, Juliet agrees to care for her mother and this is where the story gets interesting.
Juliet's mother, Desiree is an actress and is completely selfish and truly someone you will love to hate while reading the book. She is negative, self-absorbed, and pouts if her daughter and friends don't cater to her. Desiree is definitely a drama queen in more ways than one. She makes everyone around her feel inadequate. You really feel quite sad for Juliet for having to deal with her mother. While Juliet is home, we are also introduced to Claire, Desiree's neighbor. Desiree and Claire do not get along and Juliet can't understand why since Claire has been nothing but kind to her. As you can imagine, this is where the secrets come in.
Juliet is also quite smitten with the handyman she hired to remodel her mother's home to make it more accessible once she returns. Once Ian finds out she is pregnant, Juliet is afraid he won't give her a second look. Ian's character though is quite surprising and I felt like he was a stable outsider for Juliet in giving her the advice and support she needed at just the right times.
This story had several twists and turns and seemed to take its time in getting to the resolution of Juliet's problems. Even though each step of the way was fairly predictable , I still cared enough about the characters to keep reading.
The author has a great talent for describing settings, places, and things so that you could imagine yourself in the room. For example:
She could remember the nubby fabric of the couch and how her fingers fit through the webbed circles of the crocheted afghan, the smell of her mother's rose perfume, and the touch of Desiree's fingers in her own hair, gentle and unhurried. Page 112
As the author described Juliet's paintings, you could envision the vibrant colors and scenes she was creating and wished you could hang them in your own home. Thankfully, Juliet's art allowed her a diversion and brought a sense of peace in her life. You may not be completely satisfied once you finish the novel as the author doesn't tie up all the loose ends. You are left to wonder about the relationships and decisions made and imagining how you hope they will turn out.
This would make for a great book club choice as the characters and their decisions will give you lots to talk about. The relationships in this book, though dysfunctional, will mirror some of the most "normal" of families. Even though this novel is full of regrets and missed opportunities, you will realize that behind all the secrets, there was a great love for each other.
Holly Robinson is an award-winning journalist whose work appears regularly in national venues such as Huffington Post and Ladies Home Journal. She lives in Boston with her family. For more on Holly Robinson, visit her website HERE. You can also follow Holly on Twitter HERE or "Like" her on Facebook HERE.
I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any other way for this review.