Emily thinks she’s lost everything…until a mysterious painting leads her to what she most in the world. The new novel from the author of international bestsellers The Sweetness of Forgetting and The Life Intended shows why her books are hailed as “engaging” (People), “absorbing” (Kirkus Reviews) and “enthralling” (Fresh Fiction).
Emily Emerson is used to being alone; her dad ran out on the family when she was a just a kid, her mom died when she was seventeen, and her beloved grandmother has just passed away as well. But when she’s laid off from her reporting job, she finds herself completely at sea…until the day she receives a beautiful, haunting painting of a young woman standing at the edge of a sugarcane field under a violet sky. That woman is recognizable as her grandmother—and the painting arrived with no identification other than a handwritten note saying, “He always loved her.”
Emily is hungry for roots and family, so she begins to dig. And as she does, she uncovers a fascinating era in American history. Her trail leads her to the POW internment camps of Florida, where German prisoners worked for American farmers…and sometimes fell in love with American women. But how does this all connect to the painting? The answer to that question will take Emily on a road that leads from the sweltering Everglades to Munich, Germany and back to the Atlanta art scene before she’s done.
Along the way, she finds herself tempted to tear down her carefully tended walls at last; she’s seeing another side of her father, and a new angle on her painful family history. But she still has secrets, ones she’s been keeping locked inside for years. Will this journey bring her the strength to confront them at last?
Emily receives a painting in the mail. She reaches out to her estranged father for answers. They travel to Germany to research and hopefully mend their relationship.
This story just keeps weaving a great tale from start to finish. The mystery behind the painting, Emily’s past choices, and her grandmother’s previous life all meld together and really create a fabulous story. And when Emily and her father travel to Germany, it clouds up the saga, but do not worry, they find the answers right here in the USA.
Emily is a wonderful, loyal, and flawed person. She has made many mistakes and she holds on to a large amount of anger at her father. I love a flawed character that is also strong and smart. Emily fits this to a “T”. She is smart enough to know she needs to move on and quit holding onto past transgressions.
I enjoyed learning about the history of WWII POW camps in the USA. I knew there had been several among our borders, I just did not realize how they worked or functioned. This was an added plus.
This is a multilayered tale which takes the reader on a great ride. Between the story with Emily and the story about her grandmother’s past, this novel never stops. I was captivated from chapter one till THE END!
I received this novel from Simon and Schuster as part of #XOXperts.