Elizabeth MacMillan is saddened and hurt when her husband Brad suddenly announces he needs some space. Elizabeth accommodates him until the horrible day she discovers that Brad has simply vanished and abandoned both Elizabeth and their ten-year-old son, Christopher. On the way home from this devastating discovery, an anguished Elizabeth almost runs over a construction crew near her home.

Construction owner Max Marino is furious and follows her home to give her a piece of his mind. Their confrontation is brief and for Elizabeth it is one more blow in a truly horrifying day. When they meet again, they tentatively acknowledge feelings that have the potential to build into a budding friendship and relationship.

Max has his own heavy burdens, as his wife Anna has been in a vegetative state for years, slowly losing her battle with Multiple Sclerosis. It is only a matter of time, but Max's mother-in-law is unable to let Anna go. When Max seeks comfort from Elizabeth, neither feels they are being disloyal.

Christopher, however, is not ready to let go of the dream of his father's return. His anger and frustration have been leading him to the wrong group of kids. Just when Elizabeth and Max seem to be getting through to Christopher, Brad unexpectedly returns to reclaim his family. Elizabeth is torn between following her heart and doing what is best for her child. Making the right decision will not be easy.

Powerful author Rebecca Forster hits the emotional nail on the head with this timely and compelling drama of contemporary family loves and loyalties. (May, 352 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith