Sienna has no memory of her late mother, yet every significant day of her life—birthdays, the first day of high school, graduation—has been marked by a letter written during her last weeks of life. Sienna knows her father feels grateful to be able to offer up these connections to the loving, talented woman his daughter never got a chance to know. Yet for Sienna herself, the letters have become a dreaded burden, a reminder that every milestone is less than it would be if both parents were still living.
A month before her twenty-fifth birthday, Sienna finds a lump. Facing a cancer diagnosis, Sienna begins to ask questions about her mother’s terminal illness—questions that reveal unsettling inconsistencies and voids in the stories she’s been told. The deeper she digs, the more the image of her mother as a contented homemaker warps into something much darker and far more troubling. If Sienna’s dad lied about this, what else did he lie about?
This book wasn't what I'd expected it to be and I freely admit I didn't read the blurb because this author (also known as Josi Kilpack) is an auto yes for me. That's why this whole book came as a surprise. But honestly, I like it that way with the books from authors I have read for so long and know I enjoy.
This story was full of trouble and difficult things. It was hard to find the light, the positive, and the hope to hold on to. As a reader, I don't mind hard things but I am always looking for the hopeful thread that will carry me through. It was hard to find that in this book. The other thing I am always looking for is the emotional connections to the characters. I really didn't get that in this book. Sienna is an expert at blocking people out and I felt that strongly. It felt as though I was blocked out as well. I definitely had compassion for the many, many hard things Sienna was facing but found myself constantly frustrated by her too. I had a harder time with this book.
It is so interesting to me how we, as people, so inherently want to know who we are and where we come from. There is an instinct deep within us that craves that foundation of knowing who our people are. I think this book really brings those achings to life. I liked the constant surprises in the plot in this book. I was guessing all along at what I thought was happening or where things were going and I wasn't always right. I like plot surprises. Even though I didn't love this book as much as others by this author, I'll still be coming back for more.
Content: swearing, drug use, death, infertility, cancer, intimate relations outside of marriage with no details.