Some books you pick up with no expectations at all. I pick up books as fillers, just as in insurance, just in case I run out of books to read. Oh! The horror! I have a few books to read on the Kindle, yet the thought of having no ‘yet-to-read’ books horrifies me. I know, I know, I need to get my head checked.
Edited to add the book cover. I completely missed out adding it while posting.
It’s Christmas night, and Dr Olivia Simon is on duty at the ER. A young woman is brought into the ER with a gunshot wound. Try as she might, Olivia couldn’t save her. She has the devastating duty of telling the family the news. As she sees the sorrow and devastation in the victim’s husband’s eyes, she knows that she has to do it all over again. Her own husband is infatuated with this woman, Annie O’Neill. In a cruel twist of fate, Olivia was telling two grieving men that the woman they loved was dead, one of them, her own husband. As her marriage crumbles around her, Olivia starts to get drawn to this woman, this saint of a woman who seemed to be perfect, not just in the two men who seemed to adore her, but also the whole town. Annie was the one doing compassionate things everywhere, helping out in shelter homes, charity drives, and seemed to have touched so many lives.
In an effort to understand the woman for whom her husband left her for, Olivia starts volunteering at the shelter home where Annie volunteered and also learning how to make stained glass, Annie’s craft. Before she knew it, she realizes that she is almost walking in a dead woman’s shoes. Is she trying to live someone else’s life, in a desperate effort to make sense of the mess that her life has become? As Olivia battles with her demons and her choices, the story of Annie O’Neill unfolds. The story is set on Kiss River, which has an old lighthouse which Alec O’Neill, Annie’s husband is trying to save from being destroyed. It holds fond memories for him. It also holds other memories and stories that only Mary Poor, the old keeper of the light house knows.
A story that grabs you from page one, and refuses to let go till the very end. An easy, fast paced read, a page turner. It made me root for Olivia, hoping that things work out for her, made me really angry at some of the characters, and empathize with others. Full of well-defined, complex characters, the author certainly knows how to keep the story going. The cover compares it to Jodi Picoult’s writing, but I wouldn’t go so far. It was a great read, one I enjoyed a lot, but most definitely a one time read. But for a one-time read, it was well worth it. I enjoyed it thoroughly to rate it a 4.5/5.
It is part of a trilogy, I read the last part of it, later, which was not as good as this one.
About the author
Award-winning author Diane Chamberlain, was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, and attended Glassboro State University. She also lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia, where she still resides. She is an author of 22 novels. She usually writes about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. More about the author here.