House-sitter Jean is alone and being forced into retirement. When she finds keys to the locked rooms of Walden Manor, her current assignment, Jean decides she's in her own home. Living out her fantasy, she advertises for a son given up at birth.

A small-time thief, Michael can barely feed himself. Into his life comes Steph, pregnant and alone. She sees Jean's ad and convinces him it's his mother. They arrive on her doorstep just in time for the blessed event.

These three characters in this unusual, mesmerizing mystery are lost people who for the first time in their lives come together as a family. They're careless with the truth, but they're so heartbreakingly earnest in their devotion to one another that you ache for them. But events spiral out of control and a crime is committed.

The title accurately describes the three people in this depressing but beautifully written novel. Everything is perfect: dialogue, descriptions and the personalities involved. This book is definitely one to read in one sitting. It is impossible to put down. (Oct., 320 pp., $22.00)
Reviewed by: 
Lorraine Gelly