When Willow’s parents died in a tragic accident when she was just a child, her Aunt Hope stepped in to raise her. Willow’s memories of life with her parents stand in stark contrast to her life with her aunt. While her parents were loving, happy socialites, her Aunt Hope kept a house filled with secrets, and kept Willow at a distance.
Coming back home in her mid-twenties, Willow finds a discarded invitation from Niall Lane, a famous photographer who has personally invited her to his next exhibit. When she confronts her Aunt Hope about why she would have thrown it away, a lifetime of secrets comes crashing down around her.
I could not put this book down! I picked it up after I got home from work and read straight through until I finished, stopping only to halfheartedly eat a bowl of cereal for dinner. (And I really like to cook, so that’s saying something.) Every time I thought I had it figured out, another bombshell was dropped, and I was scrambling to figure out what had really happened all over again.
I loved the way that Charity’s story and Willow’s story became interwoven throughout the book. Willow’s mother was taken from her when she was far too young, but it was touching that she ended up in so many of the same places that her mother had visited over the years, even finding the same hut on the beach where she had stayed many years before.
The only thing I really didn’t care for was Hope’s attitude toward her family. I understand that it must have been painful for her to lose both her sisters, but for her to not only pretend that Faith had never existed, but also to deny Willow any closure by refusing to talk about Charity and refusing to let her visit their former home was a little over the top. I suppose, though, there would have been no story without the secrets.
It’s hard to believe that this book is 400 pages with the way I flew through it. A big thanks goes out to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book!