All Kathleen Seymour wants is to keep her painful past buried to guard her wounded heart and shield her daughter, Joelle. Despite Kathleen's best efforts, the wall of misunderstanding between her and her daughter grows higher and stronger. Maybe she's been wrong to conceal her roots. If a heartrending journey back to Riverside, N.Y., and facing relatives she hasn't seen in 35 years will heal her relationship with her daughter, she'll make the sacrifice.

This step of courage and faith reveals stunning facts about Kathleen's neglectful mother, Eleanor, and her mysterious grandmother, Fiona. If Kathleen and Joelle can bear the truth of unhealed wounds, they may find themselves whole again in their relationships with each other and with God. Austin's characters are brilliantly written, and her story flows between the past and present with smooth grace. This is an intense and emotional read, brimming with compassion. (Oct., 400 pp., $13.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson