You can go home again.
As Margaret Porter drifts into happy senility, Sylvie, her dutiful daughter (a school librarian), takes over her care. Jane, her wayward daughter (a baker of upscale goodies), comes back from New York to the family’s rural Rhode Island home, carrying a gooey, sugary cake for her diabetic mother’s birthday. Sylvie scolds and Jane feels as if she can’t do anything right. And she still feels guilty over the secret that their mother has seemingly forgotten. The years are slipping by faster and faster, but Twin Rivers hasn’t changed all that much—has she? Jane doesn’t really know. Driving down a rural road, she spies a ruggedly attractive man working in the old orchard that belongs to the Chadwicks, the adoptive parents of Chloe, a headstrong but charming teenager, warmly and believably drawn by author Rice (The Perfect Summer, 2001), etc.). Chloe champions vegan beliefs and is generally given to eccentric behavior that distresses her straight-arrow parents. But shy Jane befriends the girl and wastes no time falling in love with Dylan Chadwick, the man she saw in the orchard. He’s a retired US Marshal from New York whose estranged wife and beloved daughter died in a shooting. Chloe is close to him—and has no idea that Jane is her birth mother, or that Jane was pressured into giving her up by Margaret, who’d raised her own two daughters by herself when their good-for-nothing father skipped out. An imperfect but much deserved happy ending awaits all. Thankfully, Rice keeps it real this time and skips the contrivances—child angels, blind heroes, overwrought suspense—that plagued her recent outings.
A return to what the author does best: heartfelt family drama, gracefully written and poignant.