I read almost every genre & I enjoy venturing into unfamiliar territory. As a library volunteer, I'm constantly bringing home novels. Being a substitute teacher, I read lots of YA & children's books.
The story was layered and as I removed each layer to uncover the mystery, everyone seems innocent. A few individuals were pointing fingers at others, laying their evidence out on the line but those who were accused, I was leering about blaming. It couldn’t be that simple, right? No one really stuck out to me to be the prime suspect, I needed more evidence and the author wasn’t forth coming about telling me the whole story, I needed to listen, really listen to what was being said. The history of this family dragged me into this novel. Their story wasn’t simple, no one’s really is but there were lies and deception at the center of their lives and secrets that they had kept to themselves for years. I enjoyed the character of Sarah, she was strong and persistent. She despised Penny Gate and wanted to leave and go home as she said it enough times but she wanted to get all of her answers before she left town.
Jack left Iowa twenty years ago, a tragic accident took the lives of his parents and he hasn’t been back since. Actually, Jack hasn’t talked about Penny Gate, Iowa with anyone including his wife Sarah. This subject has been avoided until now when Jack and his wife return to his hometown to see his Aunt Julia who has been hospitalized. As I read, I understand why Jack has avoided this subject as Jack as not been totally honest about his past and his stories about Iowa are quite noteworthy. How Jack could keep his past from his wife for that many years confused me. His relationship with his wife Sarah surprised and flustered me too. They had kids in college, been married for years and yet there didn’t seem to be anything emotional keeping them together, they were like two friends rather than married individuals. Returning to Iowa, Jack is not happy as his memories come flooding back but Sarah is eager to learn about her husband’s past. As the family tries to manage the health issues with Aunt Julia they are jostled with additional startling news that throws the family into deeper hardship. Things are not as they seem. The family ruptures and their true colors shine. Sarah begins to wonder how she ended up in all this commotion. Taking matters into her own hands she begins to realize what type of man her husband really is and what type of family she has married into. It’s not the past with its secrets that finally come to light in the end but also includes the present as the two merge together to bring this family out into the open.
Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for providing a copy of this novel to me in exchange for an honest review.