In the middle of the night, the FBI appear at Heather Malone's home with an arrest warrant claiming she is actually a woman named Lisa Matlock. Lisa Matlock is wanted for a 15 year old murder.
The town of Lake Henry is shocked. Nice, gentle Heather could not possibly be this woman that they are talking about. But as people begin to question the assertions of the FBI, they also begin to question themselves. Nobody really knows much about Heather's life before she appeared in Lake Henry 14 years ago. Not Micah, the man that she's been living with for the past several years and with whom she's made a life and built a business. Not Poppy, the woman who counts herself as Heather's best friend.
This book is actually two stories in one. The main story is really Poppy & Griffin's love story. The seconday story is Heather's plight. As much as I liked this book (and I really did enjoy reading it) I only gave it three stars for several reasons:
1) Poppy and Griffin's story is a welcome continuation of what was begun in Delinsky's earlier story set in Lake Henry, "Lake News." As such it is gratifying to catch up with Poppy again and see that she gets her guy. But, as nice as it is to see these two get together, their story wasn't as compelling as Heather's story. And because it wasn't as compelling, I became a little impatient at their passages because I couldn't wait to get back and see what new revelations there were about Heather.
2) For all that Heather was a major catalyst to the story, that is all that she remained. She had no voice in this book. She was, for all intents and purposes, mute. She refused to talk about her past, and even when she did finally give Poppy a crumb, it was just three words and she mouthed it silently. I am sure that that was a conscious decision on Delinksy's part to keep Heather silent, so that we learned about her from other people. This worked really well for Delinsky in "Coast Road" where her heroine is in a coma and her family reflects on her life so that the only way the reader sees this pivotal character is through other characters eyes. Although I liked that technique in "Coast Road" I didn't like it so much here. I wanted the hear Heather.
3) Call me a sucker for the Hollywood ending, but I wanted more closure. Heather's story was such a good one with a boffo surprise and a great ending. But that was it. It ended. I wanted follow-up, I wanted closure. I still have questions about what happened after she reunited with Micah and the girls.
I love Barbara Delinsky. She is really one of the best writers of contemporary, character driven fiction out there. And she's at her best when she's looking at the effect one person has on a whole community, as she did in "The Passions of Chelsea Kane." This was book was a goody stroy. I think it would have been a great book if the Heather story had been the main focus and the Poppy story had been the secondary.