Jenny Lucas has returned to her sleepy North Carolina hometown with her only daughter to reveal to her family two horrible secrets. One, her daughter's biological father is the son of man Jenny's father hates most in the world. Two, she is dying of a widespread cancer in her body and she needs to know who will be taking care of her daughter when she's gone. Naturally, her ex-boyfriend and his wife make a play for her on the basis of biological connections. Jenny's father and grandmother immediately fall in love with six-year-old Isabella, while Jenny finds herself falling for their hired hand. Jenny knows she cannot allow herself to fall in love when she's so close to death, and she has other things on her mind. Little does she know that she will have to cross an ocean to find the answers she wants.
Gina Holmes writes an unforgettable and unashamed debut dripping with originality. The stage was already set-her lead was dying-yet she resisted the temptation of miraculous healing and wrote a five star debut novel.
The end is not the only amiable quality this book contains. I cannot think of a single key character without a personality. Jenny, Isabella, Jenny's father, Jenny's grandmother, Jenny's ex-boyfriend and his wife; even Jenny's love interest is not a perfect male lead. There is no real villain in the story; it is simply a book about the end of one's life. Gina has already proven she is a master of characters, a quality that some veteran authors cannot seem to grasp.
Many plot cliches are defied in this novel. Characters who are portrayed as bad aren't really. Characters who are portrayed as good aren't really. In the end, there is no real romantic subplot. The tale is told through the mournful eyes of Jenny in a voice reminiscent of Mary E DeMuth. The end is the icing on the cake, not only because of Jenny's end, but because of the realistic end to Isabella's custody case. With this end, Gina proves that she is not afraid to take the step toward complete originality. I hope other new authors follow her down this path.
I look forward to what Gina will do in the future. I expect nothing else but originality now that she has set the bar so high.