Goudge's family chronicle starts with the cliched discovery of a secret diary, but the diary's narrative and the grown daughters' reactions make the sweet story work as an exploration of family and true love.
While cleaning out the attic of their dying mother's home, two grown daughters find an old diary and are shocked to discover that their mother's true love was not their father. In the diary, the life of Elizabeth Marshall is detailed, including her struggle to choose between AJ, the mercurial man who holds her heart, and her longtime fiance, Bob. When AJ is wrongly accused of a crime, Elizabeth risks all, including her reputation, to prove his innocence. The diary ends before it's clear what happened to AJ, and the sisters believe their questions will never be answered, until a man from their mother's past shows up at her funeral. (VANGUARD, Apr., 224 pp., $18.95)