Snowshoeing over crusted snow in the woods near their home, 12-year-old Nicky Dillon and her father come upon something shocking. There, in the pristine winter scene, an abandoned baby wails, its survival made possible only by the coincidence of their having chosen this path for their late afternoon outing.
In the days and weeks that follow, Nicky glimpses corners of the adult world that she never dreamed existed. As she follows the fate of the baby girl and talks with the police officers assigned to investigate, Nicky for the first time asks questions about her life's strange shape. Why has her father moved them to this isolated New England farmhouse? How can they come to terms with the tragedy they left behind? And how can she bridge the chasm between his needs and her own growing sense of the world?
Nicky's ideas about life are thrown into stark relief by the arrival of a young woman haunted by her own terrible choices. Together, Nicky, her father, and this woman must work their way through a thicket of decisions, each one seeming to carry equal possibilities of heartbreak or redemption.
With the glorious prose and emotional resonance that have won readers' hearts all over the world, Anita Shreve delivers her deepest and most powerful novel yet, a mesmerizing story of the secrets we keep and the secrets we unearth, and the power of forgiveness to mend even the most battered souls.
"The story shifts brilliantly between childlike visions of a simple world and the growing realization of its cruel ambiguities....Shreve does a skilled job of portraying grief, conflict, and anger while leaving room for hope, redemption, and renewal. Her characters are sympathetic without being pitiable, and her prose remains deceptively simple and eloquent throughout." (
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