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Jimmy and Dorothea O'Brien have lived most of their life in seclusion with their father in a remote New Mexico estate he's deemed the Sanctuary. When he's in his early 20s, Jimmy heads to St. Louis, where he believes he may find family on his deceased mother's side. Dorothea goes in search of Jimmy when his letters become less frequent, and their father, Charles, falls gravely ill.

In St. Louis, Dorothea meets cab driver Stephen Spaulding, who gave up his medical practice when his wife and child died in a horrible car accident. Stephen, drawn to her intellect and social innocence, helps Dorothea search for Jimmy. Then circumstances force Charles to reveal long-hidden secrets, forever altering Dorothea's and Jimmy's lives.

Tucker's poignant touch resonates throughout the novel, highlighting the characters' life-changing events and their tragic aftermath. The author gives readers a multifaceted view of the reasons behind Charles' solitary life, unearthing the past that forms the cement of this completely engrossing read. (Apr., 339 pp., $24.00)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick