Yvette and her sister Zoe lost their mother sixteen years ago when she died of cancer, aged 42. They lost their father, the Pastor, at the same time, as circumstances and misunderstandings resulted in them not speaking to each other. He married Mary only seven months after their mother died, and they feel like Mary's daughter Vera has taken their place. Now, sixteen years later, Vera has a husband (Damien) and a seven year old daughter (Annie). But what secret from the past is she hiding?
Yvette also has a husband (Christopher) and a twelve year old daughter (Kayla). As her 42nd birthday approaches, Yvette feels her own mortality and regrets that one day she will leave her daughter, just as her own mother left her. Being abandoned by her father has affected all aspects of her life. After their mother's death, he promised never to leave them, so what happened? When Yvette finds out that her father has cancer, she is forced into making a decision. Will Yvette forgive him while she still has the chance? Will she finally find the peace she's been looking for?
The narration switches between Yvette and Vera, giving the author the opportunity to show us both sides of the story. Vera gives us a different insight into the Pastor, blaming Yvette for their falling-out: "... his wife had died and his daughters had abandoned him during his time of need." She herself thinks he's been an amazing father: "When I was younger, I doubted the need for a father. But now that I'd been fortunate to have an amazing one, I couldn't imagine my life without him."
On the downside, Yvette and Vera both have the same voice and a husband and young daughter so, at times, I forgot who was narrating. The story is extremely well-written, maybe even too much so, as Yvette, Zoe, Vera, and Aunt Sandy all "sound" the same, whether they are narrating or speaking. There are some minor errors, and at times the author mixes the past and present tenses. However, I did learn a new word ("adumbrated" - forshadowed), and the numerous beautiful passages and touching story made this a worthwhile and moving experience.
I received this book in return for an honest review.