Two women try to move past the 15-year-old legacy of a devastating car accident.
When renovation work on Rae McDonald's Alexandria Colonial home uncovers an old bottle, history buff Margaret McCrae tells her it’s likely from the 1750s and “designed to ward off a witch’s spells and evil curses.” Three intact bottles found recently on properties belonging to families who helped settle the area lead Margaret to wonder if their stories are connected. Researching Rae’s family papers for clues, Margaret delves into the McDonalds' distant past, but Rae is focused on more recent history. When she was a teen, her sister, Jennifer, died in a car crash, and the generally cautious Rae went wild and ended up pregnant. Rae hid the shameful secret from everyone, leaving town to have the baby. Giving her son up for adoption broke her heart, so she buried her emotions, determined not to get close to anyone. Now a teenager, her son has reached out to her for information about his family’s past. Rae has never cared about her family’s history before, but now that she might actually have a legacy beyond her work, she’s interested in learning more. Meanwhile, Jennifer’s best friend, Lisa Smyth, who survived the accident, is back in town to care for her failing great aunt—who has recently uncovered a family mystery of her own—and desperate for forgiveness for her own dark secrets. Margaret’s search will discover long-standing family secrets and connections among three founding families, while Rae and Lisa explore more modern ties that can either bind them forever to a sorrowful past or free them to a hopeful future. Taylor’s complex tale spans three families over two centuries and includes a dose of ancient magic, but the story remains grounded in fascinating history and emotional turmoil that is intense yet subtle.
An intelligent, heartwarming exploration of the powers of forgiveness, compassion, and new beginnings.