Third tearjerker from romancer Yorke (and her first hardcover), about a woman’s recovery from the loss of her baby son.
One day 18 years ago, Kate Vegas’s husband Ray and infant William vanished into thin air. Car accident? Kidnapping? Worse: Ray sold William for $50,000 to pay off his gambling debts, then ran off to Mexico. Kate’s father Gerald, an LAPD detective, pulled every string, but the investigation never came up with a lead, and he and Kate were left to recover from the shock on their own. Suicidally depressed for years after, Kate eventually became a foster mother and took a succession of troubled children into her home for months or years at a time. Her latest charge is Wayne, a 17-year-old who has recovered from drug addiction and wants to become a fisherman. Kate takes him up to Seal Bay, an old fishing town in northern California, to see whether he can find work on a crew. He takes a job on Ben Dodson’s boat, and Kate stays on for a while to see him settled into his new life. Ben is a widower with two daughters Wayne’s age, so he and Kate find themselves with a common bond and soon fall in love (as does Wayne with one of the Dodson girls). Yet Kate is still troubled by her loss of William after all these years, her grief sharpened into real fear as she begins to receive baby pictures of William anonymously through the mail. Is Ray trying to torment her? Is William still alive? Her only clue is a Cambridge, Massachusetts, postmark. But for a detective’s daughter, that’s enough to start with.
A big fish story, and breathy prose (“She looked at him standing onshore, and knew right then that it didn’t matter how many hearts shattered around her, she was going to marry him, and fast”) that brings a whiff of the low tide.