The opening passages of this book grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I read with both dread and fascination the rapid chain of events resulting in the turmoil of Frank's life and knew I had to keep reading, I had to learn more and see what this upstanding former police officer would do.
Each time the story line seemed to calm down, author Jacquelyn Mitchard threw in a new twist that set me on edge once again. It was hard to find a peaceful moment where it felt safe to put the book down.
I enjoyed the characters in this story. Frank had seen everything as a cop, and the events surrounding his new son, Ian, didn't phase him for long. He took it all in stride, just as a good parent should. Claudia was a surprise. She had no idea what she was in for when she first approached Frank, but being a strong woman, both physically and mentally, she quickly adapted. The responses of the children seemed appropriate for their ages and situation. I never for one instant felt that they should have responded differently.
For me, this book was all about family, both the one you chose and the one you actually end up with. Instead of giving up and succumbing to a long downward spiral of mourning, he accepted what he did have and moved forward. He forged new bonds and expanded his definition of family. This story gave new meaning to the saying 'it takes a village to raise a child'.
Cover image courtesy Simon & Schuster Canada