Psychologist Ellie Nightingale has suffered one of the greatest tragedies a parent can face, the disappearance of her child. Over twenty years ago, Ellie's baby Bethanne was kidnapped and, despite an intensive search, never found. Unable to have more children, Ellie has become obsessed with adopting a child, to the detriment of her marriage.

Kate Sutton loves her daughter, Skyler, above all things, but she also hides a terrible secret that has been eating away at her for over twenty years. When their attorney presented Kate and Will Sutton with the tiny baby who was supposedly abandoned in a NY tenement, neither questioned the facts. Later, however, Kate has doubts and suspects the dark truth. In desperate anguish and love, Kate and Will chose to keep silent and keep their daughter.

Years later, the lives of these women cross in a most unusual way. Skyler is pregnant and feels unable to be a good mother at this point in her life. Despite her parents' wishes, she begins a search for an adoptive family for her baby. Fate leads her to Ellie Nightingale's door.

For Kate it's divine intervention; Ellie might have lost her beloved daughter, but she will now get the chance to raise her granddaughter. That is until an anguished Skyler decides she has made a terrible mistake and wants her baby back. The prospective court battle over baby Alisa threatens to destroy the fabric of all their lives.

Author Eileen Goudge continues to demonstrate her impressive ability to deliver soul searching and poignant novels which reveal a wide range of highly complex emotions and relationships. (Mar., 464 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith