Who can really blame her? If I find a letter addressed to me and someone tells me not to open and even goes so far as to fly home from an intercontinental trip to prevent me from doing so, I'm giving him or her the side eye of eternity. On the other hand, opening the letter could potentially have a devastating effect. What to do, what to do...Well if you're Cecilia, you open it and change the lives of others.
Tess' husband's indiscretion sends her back to her childhood home in Sydney and sends her son, Liam, to St. Angela's, the Catholic school she attended as a child. At St. Angela's, she's reacquainted with PTA president and mother extraordinaire, Cecilia, and Connor Whitby, gym teacher. While Tess envies Cecilia and her perfect life, she's dazzled by Connor.
Tess may be enamored with Connor Whitby, but for Rachel Crowley, he will always be the man that killed her daughter. Rachel knows that her daughter Janie was a good girl, but she had a wild streak in high school that caused them to bump heads. An early 20s Connor was the last known person to see Janie alive. Even though the police cleared him years ago, Rachel can't help but to believe he was Janie's killer and it pains her to see him daily at St. Angela's and in the community, carrying on as if nothing ever happened.
It's a bit of a stretch to tie these three women together. And though her story is interesting, it really isn't necessary to include Tess in the drama that unfolds as a result of Cecilia opening Pandora's Box. It would be hard to say who is more affected by what the letter contains. For Cecilia, the discovery that her husband is not the person she thought she knew for so many years is shocking, but it's Rachel that bears the greatest brunt of the letter's revelation. Indeed, it's a husband's secret that sets off a chain of events, but he may be the least affected of all.
At 416 pages, this book seems a little long. I don't know what I would cut out to shorten it, with the exception of Tess' story line. It's not a page turner, there's no great excitement within it. It's just a decent read on a rainy day.
Published: August 2013
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.