Noble’s latest is a testament to the concept that family is what one makes it. Meri’s journey to learn more about her background lends an air of mystery to the novel, as does Meri’s preservationist project for a very old mansion. Noble’s rich description of the Newport area is one of the stronger points of this novel, and the intense romance that builds between Meri and Alden is slow, careful and full of possibilities — which will appeal to readers who prefer romantic stories on the realistic side.
Things are going quite well for 29-year-old Meri Hollis. In addition to having a fulfilling career restoring old homes in Newport, R.I., Meri has a large, loving, supportive family and boyfriend. However, on her 30th birthday, Meri’s world as she knows it comes crumbling down when she learns that she has been adopted, and that her close friend Alden Corrigan is the person who rescued her pregnant mother. Meri then sets out to learn more about her past and her family history, while also trying to understand her true feelings for Alden. (WILLIAM MORROW, Jul., 384 pp., $14.99)