Ms. Gaffney lures readers with her enigmatic characters that are the life force behind this captivating novel.
Gaffney's portrayal of true-life family rifts clearly shows that no situation is completely black or white. No glitz and glamour here, just a heartfelt tale whose complexity lies in the realism of its players.

After her artist boyfriend Jay two-times Anna Catalano with her best friend, she decides to leave Buffalo and return to her home on Maryland's Eastern Shore. At the request of her aunt Iris, she agrees to manage the family restaurant, Bella Sorella, for her Aunt Rose. Reluctantly, Anna faces Rose who she suspects had an affair with her dad when her mother was dying of cancer.

But when Rose shows Anna an uncharted path down memory lane, Anna discovers some disturbing truths about her parents' relationship. This knowledge helps Anna to forgive Rose and let go of the years of blaming Rose for her inability to become close to another person. It's time Anna accept responsibility for her own emotions and beliefs.

(Aug., 400 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick