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Home Before Dark [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Susan Wiggs , Tanya Eby
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Aug 2011
In one woman’s search for a place in her daughter’s life, family secrets will be exposed and old alliances shattered. But the truth must not be denied. Sixteen years ago adolescent Jessie did the best she could for her newborn daughter – her older sister adopted baby Lila. Since then Lila has been told that Jessie is but a distant aunt. Now Jessie’s back. She’s put her successful career on hold to return home to see the daughter she’s never met. Terrified of opening old wounds, but intent on redeeming her careless past, her arrival is destined to expose truths that could change her family forever… ‘A human and multi-layered story exploring duty to both country and family’ – Nora Roberts on The Ocean Between Us
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Corporation (30 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441867139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441867131
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,221,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I like to believe I am the person my dogs think I am.

I phone my parents every day, as they are elderly and adorable, and they read me stories every day of my freakishly normal childhood. I was a writer before I learned to read, by creating scribbles on paper and dictating the stories to my saintly mother. You can see examples here: https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/104585203815605467940/albums/5587379107269629729?banner=pwa&partnerid=pwrd1.

Untold eons later, I still read and write everyday and I've gotten very good at it. I live in a ridiculously gorgeous place in the world--an island in Puget Sound, Washington where we have a lot of the same flowers you grow in the UK. But bigger slugs. Much bigger slugs.

I have lots more to tell you, so please join me on Facebook and check out pictures of my dogs and tell me what's on your mind. https://www.facebook.com/susanwiggs

Product Description


"Susan Wiggs tackles contemporary issues in the crucible of family with gutsy poignancy and adroit touches of whimsy that make for an irresistible read." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching story of family relationships 29 Dec 2006
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have very much enjoyed the two previous books I had read by Susan Wiggs - they were Historical Romances - but when this book arrived from inter-library loan and I read the blurb on the back it seemed I'd picked the wrong sort of book for me. The story was evidently about family relationships and tensions following a woman adopting her sister's child at birth. I put off reading the book for a while but when I finally started it I was immediately engrossed.

Jessie Ryder is a successful photographer but with secrets. The first secret is that Lila, her niece, is actually her daughter. Her sister Luz and her husband Ian took Lila the moment she was born and have brought her up as their own child along with three sons that came along later. But there are more secrets that Luz doesn't know - Jess and Ian had a brief fling before he got together with Luz and Ian is the father of Lila - both adoptive and natural. But there are even more secrets; Jessie is visiting them now, after sixteen years, as she is losing her sight and wants to take a final `look' at her family, particularly her daughter, before it all goes dark.

Jessie is an interesting character and I wasn't always sure I liked her. She deals with emotions by running away and never seems to stick with anything. She comes like a whirlwind into Luz and Ian's life and appears to be causing disruption - teenager Lila is becoming wayward and ends up involved in a tragedy, and even the grieving widower next door gets sucked in to Jessie's mayhem. And yet she's also a woman who feels greatly for the mistakes that she has made in her life and who wants her family to be happy and does what she can to further that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant 8 Aug 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't like Wigg's historical novels, but I've enjoyed all her contemporary novels so far. In this one you have two sisters now in their mid to late thirties, Luz and Jessica. Luz has always been the responsible mother figure, taking on the world and its problems, solving her sister's problems and scrapes. Jessica is wilder, living life for the moment until that is she is twenty one. Finding herself pregnant, Jessica panics. She talks Luz and her new husband into adopting her child, while she takes off to the other side of the world on a photographic assignment. Jessica, when faced with the flee or fight scenareo tends to flee. Luz takes on the responsibility as usual and put her own hopes and dreams to one side as she has always done. However, she truely loves the little premature scrap that her sister has given birth to. Jessica stays out of her daughter's life, feeling that it is fairer to all concerned that way. Only keeping in touch by email, telephone and postcards; however, her daughter is always in her thoughts. She told Luz and Ian not to tell Lelia that she is adopted. Sixteen years later, Jessica has to confront a personal tradegy which will affect the rest of her life and she heads home to small town Texas, Luz and Lelia her daughter. She decides that she needs to tell her daughter that she is her mother. As you can imagine that decision distrupts Luz and Ian's lives. Leila is going through a rebellious teenage stage and doing some typically stupid things, that teenagers tend to do. Added to the mix is Dusty, a young widower and pilot with a baby daughter. He lives the other side of the lake. An enjoyable, lovely story of scecrets, decisions and growing up.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsentimental sentiment 26 Mar 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful story of sisters separated by life's deepest issues, and how they find their way back to one another. Not just each other, but the other people in their lives. Older sister Luz rediscovers the magic in her longterm marriage. Younger Jessie is facing a life-changing problem just at the moment she learns to fall in love. It all sounds pretty schmaltzy but trust me, it's not. The sisters are hip, funny, sad and altogether human. You'll never forget them, and the lessons they learn along the way.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expertly Crafted Novel 27 April 2003
By Sheri Melnick - Published on Amazon.com
Many a historical romance author has tried to make the crossover to contemporary fiction. In rare instances, authors excel equally in both genres, and Susan Wiggs is one of those rare exceptions. With her latest novel, she explores the bond between sisters Jessie Ryder and Luz Ryder Benning.
After almost sixteen years traveling the globe on photojournalism assignments, Jessie is back to see her beloved sister Luz, three nephews, and fifteen-year-old niece Lila, who is actually the baby Luz and husband Ian adopted from Jess who took off years ago. Through the pain of separation and untold secrets, the sisters try to fit into each other's lives again, as Luz and Ian must decide whether to tell rebellious Lila the truth of her birth. And even Jessie has some secrets regarding Lila's conception. Amidst this very realistic glimpse into one family's drama is the surprising romance Jessie finds with local pilot and widower Dusty Matlock, who has a tragic story of his own.
Expertly drawn characters set against the beautiful Texas landscape are the life force of this compelling novel. Not only is the reader entranced by the unearthing of past secrets, but present-day secrets come to light in this thought provoking read with a unique and believable view of one family's ability to stay together despite personal trauma and tragedy.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Writer, Boring Book 21 Oct 2009
By Marcy Casterline O'Rourke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I feel almost guilty reviewing Susan Wigg's "Home Before Dark" because I like her writing so much, her evocative descriptions of place, in this case Texas Hill Country, and her characters are very real and delightful, as is the dialogue. It's just the plot and the theme or through-line were, for me, obvious, trite, unbelievable, and simplistic. By Chapter Three, it was all so programmatic, as if morality and justice were simple equations that could be added up to create "fairness".

First we have the ambitious, selfish, talented, sort of bad girl photographer sister, who slept with the guy who eventually made a good husband for her good beyond belief sister, and got pregnant by him, and left the child for her good sister and her ex-husband to raise. And the photographer sister goes off to New Zealand without telling her sister that the child is her husband's or I mean that her husband is her ex-lover who fathered the child she leaves behind for them to raise. Get it? I mean, really, I know people have secrets, but this is ridiculous. This sort of thing may happen on Oprah or Dr. Phil, but those people are on those shows because they have huge problems. Fact is stranger than fiction, and it's allowed to be, because it's fact and you can't dispute it. But fiction, unless it's fantasy, has to be a little closer to normal, in my book, anyway.

Anyway, the selfish but talented sister is going blind, just so she doesn't get off scot free after committing the the sin of dumping her premature baby of her illicit affair with her sister's soon to be husband, on her poor sister, who is also talented, but gives it all up for family. But never fear, the soon to be blind photographer comes home to help and finds the man of her dreams before she loses her sight. Whew! Everybody gets their just desserts in this flamingly overblown world of REALLY BIG PROBLEMS, in case you were worried.

And on and on Wiggs goes, parsing out moral punishments and rewards for good and bad behavior like a trainer doling out dogie treats.

I have no objection to the morality of what she advocates, or to her actual writing, I just can see it all coming from page 2, so all her pretty descriptions and fun little scenes feel like emotional manipulation to serve Wiggs' prim, little moral universe. Sorry, can't recommend it
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars engaging relationship novel 13 April 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
After living for the past fifteen years in New Zealand and photographing much of the world, Jessie Ryder returns to her hometown of Edenville, Texas near Austin. Jessie suffers from a debilitating illness that will leave her blind, so she needs to see her biological daughter Lila one last time. Years ago Jessie became pregnant after making love to Ian Benning, who later met, fell in love with, and married her sister Luc. Jessie hid the father's identity from everyone and her newly married sister and husband adopted Lila and loved her as their own.
Jessie wants Ian and Luc to tell Lila the truth about whom is her biological mother. As the trio struggles with what is best for Lila, the teen engages in hill hopping which leads to the death of another passenger. Meanwhile, Jessie falls in love with widower neighbor Dusty Matlock and his little girl. However, Jessie does not trust relationships so as she loses her sight she flees, but not before the Bennings tell Lila the truth.
HOME BEFORE DARK is an engaging relationship novel that contains a delightful extended cast. Much of the tale focuses on Jessie, yet readers also learn about the other key characters. Although why Jessie felt that Lila had to know the truth is never fully explained, the audience will savor this warm modern day family drama.
Harriet Klausner
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page-turning romance 24 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Home Before Dark is a romantic story about the difficult choices we face in life and about family reconciliation. Filled with love, joy, and heartache, this is a book that simply cannot be put down.
When faced with impending blindness, Jessie Ryder returns home to her family to get to know the daughter she gave up to her sister. 16 years earlier her sister left college early to adopt Jessie's child, marry and raise a family, giving Jessie the opportunity to fulfill her dream of becoming a photojournalist and traveling all over the world. Each, however, longs for the life of the other-Jessie envious of the secure family life her sister has had while Luz pines for the seemingly exotic and exciting life Jessie has led. Secrets abound, and a tragic accident makes this book a real heartwarming page-turner.
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