Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Secret Of Joy by Melissa Senate

Rebecca Strand is at a crossroads.  She lives with Michael, but she's not sure she wants to take the next step and get married.  She has a job as a paralegal, which she knows she doesn't like, but can't get it together to move on and do something else.  Her beloved father is dying, and she doesn't know what she'll do when that happens.

Then everything changes.  Her father, in his last days, tells her a family secret.  He had an affair twenty-five years ago, and there was a baby from that relationship.  He couldn't face what he had done, and abandoned the baby and its mother; he never saw Rebecca's sister, nor had any kind of relationship with her.  No support money, no cards, no letters, no phone calls.

When he dies, Rebecca is left with huge questions.  How could someone she had loved so much and who had been such a wonderful parent to her have done such a thing?  Should she try and find her sister?  Will she be accepted by her?

After mulling it over and discovering that her sister's name is Joy and that she lives in Maine, Rebecca is pulled to go visit.  She finds Joy, who is not excited to meet her, and who insists that Daniel Strand means nothing to her.  Joy says he was nothing more than a DNA donor.  But Rebecca refuses to give up.  She falls in love with the town and develops relationships with several women there.  Even more, she fiinds Theo, who is everything that Michael is not.  Before she knows it, Rebecca has started a new life in Maine, with a rented house, a new dog and a determination to make her life what she knows she needs it to be.

This book is recommended for readers who enjoy women's literature and for those who enjoy books about family relationships and women finding their way in the world.

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