by Elizabeth McGregor

May 2005
ISBN: 0-553-58671-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Trade Paperback

Anna Russell's life may not be perfect, but it is full and rewarding. She is a talented artist whose work is being recognized and selling well, thanks in part to her partner, James Garrett. Her biggest worry is her beloved daughter Rachel, whose gifts are locked within Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. Grace, Anna's mother, was also a single mother and has been supportive during the tough times. When Anna and Rachel are involved in a serious car accident that leaves Anna in a coma with a doubtful prognosis, all their lives take a dramatic turn.

David Mortimer lives thousands of miles away in England and receives the most shocking call of his life when Grace tells him about Anna and that he is the father of Rachel. David and Anna had met years ago when she was in an exchange program. When Anna discovered she was pregnant after their brief affair, she fled England without any explanation. David became a recluse and never understood what happened until this fateful call years later.

This novel is not a romance in the typical sense, but love and the lack of it are explored on many levels. The author moves the reader seamlessly back and forth in time as she reveals the background of each character a small layer at a time. This is a literary device I find most appealing since it rings true. We often learn about new friends and acquaintances in small sips instead of big gulps.

The narrative is very lyrical between alternately lovely and sad descriptions. David's life as a botanist lends a visual aspect to the whole mix that is unique and appealing. The dialog and pace are both excellent as well. This novel is perfect for readers who are looking for material that is both thought provoking and uplifting.

Reviewed in November 2005 by Roberta.

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