After nearly 20 years, Janelle Decker returns to her grandmother’s house, facing secrets long buried, a complicated, interrupted love affair, and an opportunity for the kind of truth that breaks down barriers and opens up hope for the future.
When Janelle's uncles ask her to move to the tiny Pennsylvania town where her Nan lives to take care of her, Janelle finds it depressingly easy to leave her California life behind. She’d visited most summers in her childhood and even stayed for a time in high school, growing close to the Tierney boys who lived next door: Gabe, who was her age, and his younger twin brothers, Andy and Mikey. At the time, Gabe and Janelle had shared an intense, secretive relationship, but when Gabe asked Janelle for a favor, one violent night changed everything, sending Janelle across the country and uncertain of the details that left Andy fighting for his life and Mikey and Gabe stuck in the painful grip of guilt and recriminations. Now, as Janelle helps Nan prepare to die, she and Gabe dance around their continued attraction and the brutal secrets buried in the past. None of the Tierneys want to face the devastating truth of one horrible night, or the tragic events that led up to it, but they’ll have to before the past repeats itself or the door closes on the hope for a brighter future. Hart’s book has an interesting premise, and for the most part, it's an absorbing read. However, a narrative that moves jarringly from past to present and an overly melodramatic buildup to a bombshell secret that, in the end, seems fumbled muffle the emotional impact of crucial events and weaken the success of the book.
A tense look at dark secrets and the redemptive power of truth; not perfect, but compelling.