My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I wavered between a 3 and a 4 for this book. I would have given 3-1/2 if possible, but settled on a 3, because the book is a little slow and boring for about the first 1/3 of the book. If you make it to the halfway point, you will finish, and enjoy it. But the problem is that a lot of readers won't get far enough to uncover a good story.
I picked this book up because the cover is beautiful. Then I discovered this is the author's first book and she lives in the town next door...probably less than 5 miles from me. So I put it on my 'to-read' list. Then I found it on the library's 'sale' shelf for $1, and realized this is the time.
For the first half of the book, you are thinking this is a book full of unlikeable characters. Only one is someone you are drawn too. There is Cara, who has grown up in the 'country club' set. Her father is a successful attorney, and her mother is a society lady. Cara is a struggling artist. As the story opens, Cara is about to deliver a baby, and has decided to give up the baby for adoption, as the father is a married man, a fact he didn't feel was necessary to tell her until she revealed her pregnancy. Her mother and father just want to get this adoption over and done with quietly, before anyone finds out. Cara is somewhat reluctant, but realizes it is better for everyone to just get it done. She spends much of the first half of the story obsessing over the child she has named 'Jane' and wondering about her and whether the emptiness she feels will go away. So far, not too unlikeable, but Cara makes some questionable decisions as the story proceeds. She has a best friend who is a bit of a free spirit, and is the counterpoint to Cara's parents. Along the way, Cara meets Noah, a musican who she feels 'gets her, but she feels he would not fit in with her country club set parents. She meets Jack, who is someone of a clone of her father, but perhaps with a heart. And she meets an new friend, Mary Rose, who has been recently widowed, the wife of a heart surgeon. She has a young daughter. Every time the daughter meets a milestone, Cara is left wondering about 'Jane'.
The book does really pick up the 2nd half and is a good story. It is somewhat predictable if you are a good guesser, but that does not detract from enjoying the end of the story.
My best advice is that if you pick this book up, you stick with it, because it IS worth it in the end! (Though if you'd have asked me that after only 100 pages, I would have told you this is a book to avoid.)
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