A child’s fingers slip away from Abbie Sinclair’s frantic rescue attempts, drowning into the mud, while her lover, Werner, is captured and left to die due to corporate greed in Peru.
The trauma leaves her suffocating in confused, guilty nightmares, unable to resume her work as a documentary filmmaker. Why did Werner continue to film instead of helping her rescue the child? Why did she allow herself to be dragged to safety? Her best friend, Celeste, sends Abbie to recuperate with her relatives in the genteel poverty of Stargazey Point, S.C. The three octogenarian Crispin siblings, of course, need Abbie as much as she needs them. Marnie’s mysterious past gives her the strength to manage her sister, Millie, who refuses to give up on their dilapidated house. Their brother, Beau, obsessively sculpts wood and helps Cabot Reynolds—the small town’s prodigal son—restore his uncle’s carousel. Abbie meets darkly handsome Cab at dinner her first night with the Crispins. Suspicious of Abbie’s motives, Cab reluctantly squires her about town. Things turn sentimental at this point, with a flock of neglected, impoverished—and in some cases abused—children, who desperately need Abbie’s attention, and an old Gullah woman, whose second sight penetrates to the very core of every troubled soul. Noble’s (Beach Colors, 2012) sophomore novel unfortunately does little with the intriguing threads of Abbie’s haunted past, instead weaving her troubling tale into a standard romance. From Cab’s flight from a materialistic fiancee and heartless corporate exploitation to Beau’s mysterious reluctance to show his art, the troubles in Stargazey Point evoke little surprise. Even the careful restoration of the carousel becomes a metaphor for the simple notion that helping others is the key to healing the self.
In this romance, emotional damage is no match for the power of kindness.