Being the youngest has its own special problems. But in the case of Kate, she isn’t merely the youngest child, she is the issue of the second-to-last of her mother’s marriages and adopted by the last husband her mother takes. She is separated from her real father and left with the impression that he abandoned her. Kate’s childhood is not an easy one. But one thing is a constant. Kate loves her mother, Marcie, and wants more than anything to know that love is reciprocated. But Marcie’s last husband, Beau, Kate’s adoptive father, seems to attract all of Marcie’s attention away from her daughter. He beats Kate with his belt, yet Marcie stays with him, makes excuses for him. As soon as Kate is eighteen, Beau and Marcie leave California and move to Guam, half a world away from Kate. She convinces them to send her a plane ticket, but as soon as she is in Guam, she realizes she has made a mistake and starts saving to go home. Marcie comes back to California. It’s clear things aren’t good between Marcie and Beau, but she can’t stay away long and she returns. After Marcie has been back in Guam awhile, terrible news comes. Marcie has been swept off a cliff by a rogue wave right in front of Beau.
Carly Duncan has written a complicated story of family dynamics many will be able to relate to in this time of blended families. The mystery of Marcie starts long before her disappearance. Her entire life is a mystery, and the ability of Kate to overcome a most difficult childhood is quite complex. This book could use a round of editing, but otherwise is quite an interesting take on life.
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