Ms. Nelson pens stories that make you think. Her characters are flawed, strong and well represented.
Cassie has always wondered who her real mother was even though she was raised by a loving relative, her Aunt Shasta. Coming home to care for Shasta who has health issues, Cassie again begins to search for answers. She brings her delightful four year old daughter, Lark, back to Oregon. Lark is a bright spot in this book of deep subjects. The author has captured the actions of this tiny girl.
Ms. Nelson portrays Cassie as very caring of Shasta and Lark as she tries to juggle life. “Caregiving was a maze that surprised Cassie with new obstacles at every turn.” But Cassie finds strength in her friends and returns to her childhood faith. She begins to hope for a better future. “Cassie, you are who God designed you to be, you are growing and changing all the time, and it may seem like you are lost in all the mess of life sometimes, but your identity is not in your name, your hair color, your job or your academic achievements. It is in your heart.”
Cassie George is barely staying above water as she works to get her doctorate and raise her daughter. But she stubbornly keeps swimming to prove a few bad decisions haven't ruined her forever. Plus, it's all a great excuse to stay away from the small Oregon town she fled in shame years prior. But when she receives a call that the aunt who raised her has had a major health crisis, she knows it's time to return.
Cassie is surprised to be more welcomed by the quirky seaside community than she expected, even if there's still tension between her and her former classmate Nora Milford. But she still can't help feeling unsettled and is mystified by a mysterious package that appears, full of typed pages that tell the story of an anonymous woman's life. As her curiosity sends her on a journey toward truth, Cassie will discover that who she thought she was and what she wants for her life are both about to change.