Starting over means looking back for a mother and daughter on the road to reinventing themselves in a moving novel about family secrets and second chances by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie Beck.
Seventeen years ago, two pink stripes on a pregnancy test changed Anne Sullivan’s life. She abandoned her artistic ambitions, married her college sweetheart before graduation, and—like the mother she lost in childhood—devoted herself to her family. To say she didn’t see the divorce coming is an understatement. Now, eager to distance herself from her ex and his lover, she moves with her troubled daughter, Katy, to the quaint bayside town of Potomac Point, where she spent her childhood summers.
But her fresh start stalls when the contractor renovating her grandparents’ old house discovers a vintage recipe box containing hints about her beloved grandmother’s hidden past. Despite the need to move forward, Anne is drawn into exploring the mysterious clues about the woman she’s always trusted. Gram’s dementia is making that harder, and the stakes intensify when Katy’s anxieties take an alarming turn. Amid the turmoil, uncovered secrets shatter past beliefs, forcing each woman to confront her deepest fears in order to save herself.
As with many of my books, I chose a frank, breezy style which I hope is both engaging and entertaining. In truth, I struggled while writing this one because, as a mother who walked away from a legal career to stay at home and raise my kids, I wanted to accurately portray both sides of the stay-at-home-mom coin—the privilege and blessing of being at home every day raising your kids, as well as the pitfalls of easily turning into someone you no longer recognize outside of your role as wife and mother—without being trite. I also wanted to commiserate with all mothers who too often attempt to be the “perfect” mom while simultaneously feeling that they are messing it all up. We’ve all been there, and it helps to know you aren’t alone! Finally, anxiety disorders among teens are on the rise, so putting a bit of a spotlight on that—to the extent it might help even one person—seemed important. I hope my research and work has done this subject justice. And while this is a women’s fiction novel centered around the growth of three generations of women, Anne does end up with a new love interest, and I think you will end up adoring the guy.
I am beyond grateful to bestselling author Barbara O’Neal (When We Believed in Mermaids) for offering a beautiful cover quote (“This is [a] sharp and graceful tale of mothers and daughters, secrets and tangled family histories. Jamie Beck brings her clear-eyed prose style and smart characterizations to the story of a mother and daughter doing their best—and often failing—to make their way to a new life after a divorce. A thoughtful, moving book from a writer stepping into the fullness of her talents.”). The book also earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which said, in part, “Beck spins a poignant, multigenerational coming-of-age tale as these three women navigate their identities, dreams, and love lives. Complex and introspective, this is by turns heart-wrenching and infectiously hopeful.”
If any of this interests you, I hope you have good luck with your request for an early copy. For the non-bloggers out there, I hope you will consider shelving TRUTH OF THE MATTER on your “Want to Read” shelf. Enjoy your summer and please stay healthy!