Faced with dwindling savings after losing her job, Abby McKenna is tossed a life preserver-an inheritance from her beloved Great Aunt Leila Cassidy.

As a child, Abby spent many summers in Primrose, NC, exploring the countryside with her best friend and first love Alex Kane. Figuring that she will sell off the house, Abby is stunned to find that the house is in desperate need of repair, and that Leila has entrusted Abby with her best friend, elderly Belle Matthews. Belle has lived with Leila ever since finances forced her to sell her former home.

Abby feels trapped and unsure of how to proceed. As it stands, she doesn't have enough money to repair the house and she doesn't want to displace Belle. Where is Alex Kane, Belle's grandson, when she needs him? It turns out that Belle has been keeping secrets from Alex, who is unaware that Leila has died.

Spunky Belle and the gentle ghost of Leila plot and scheme to bring their beloved descendants together. Complications arise when a stranger named Drew Cassidy arrives claiming to be the illegitimate offspring of Leila's husband Thomas. Is he for real and what does he want from Abby?

As she has proven in the past, talented author Mariah Stewart excels at creating emotionally complex novels that are sure to touch your heart. (Aug., 370 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith