When Andi met Ethan, she was thrilled to learn that he had two daughters from a previous marriage. Andi’s dream was to have a family was fading as the years passed without her meeting “Mr. Right.” The right man and a ready-made family was a bonus.
At least that’s what Andi thought until she met Emily, Ethan’s teenage daughter. Emily was scarred and angry from a life with an alcoholic mother and a father she felt deserted her by getting married again. Turning her anger toward the interloper, Andi, Emily struck out by becoming unruly.
Falling in with a bad crowd and going to bed with random boys because she wanted to be accepted finally ended with her pregnancy. Andi, who truly cares for Emily, is her staunch supporter during the pregnancy — a task filled with internal conflict for Andi because she has desperately been trying to conceive. When Cal is born, Emily is scared and feels detached from him. She feels nothing but relief when Andi offers to raise Cal herself.
After three years away with little contact with those she’s left behind, Emily returns. Is she ready now to take back her child? Andi, who Cal calls “Mommy,” is filled with fear. Family dynamics have changed dramatically and, for Emily, maybe not for the best.
Jane Green is a prolific writer who knows the human heart, including both internal conflicts and those within a family — regardless of a family composition. Book clubs will love this novel, which examines what it means to be accepted, and to be a family.
St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan; ISBN 978-0-31259-182-3; $25.99.