Samantha, Allie, and Shelley are three sisters faced with the sudden death of their mother, Georgia Covington. While making arrangements for her funeral, the girls discover that their mother had a secret. It appears that she had found the love of her life. Along with this secret, the girls discover letters their mother received from a mysterious Frenchman named Rene. While coming to terms with their mother’s secrets and her untimely death, each sister is struggling with her own personal issues. Shelley is struggling financially since her ex-husband is refusing to help; Allie has chosen a husband that her father refuses to accept; and Samantha has her own secrets that she must overcome. Each sister manages to find happiness and meaning in their lives, in part because Georgia has tried to set a good example and has left them with some letters explaining what she hopes they will achieve in the future.
This memorable story is one that touched my heart. Although it’s a sad story, it was not overly sad to the point of depressing. I think the author was able to balance sad events with positive emotions, creating something with depth and development. The characters are well-constructed and I, personally, liked the fact that every major character had an individual story to tell. Even though Georgia Covington had already passed away when the story began, I was able to get a very good sense of her character. I felt as if I had known her. The letter that was presented to the girls by Pastor Mark towards the beginning made me cry. This letter did a lot to convey a real sense of Georgia. In some ways, I almost felt like I was a member of the Covington family since I shared all of their intimate ups and downs. The dialogue which I thought was very good, no doubt contributed a great deal to this. The author was also talented in drawing me into the story by conveying a range of emotions. I have to admit that many scenes in this book brought tears to my eyes. I liked the fact that the book ended on a positive note, with a little unexpected twist. I felt the characters that I had come to know would go on to have happy lives. When I reflect back on the novel, the ending leaves it open to endless possibilities for a sequel. While I found the general descriptions of the locations were adequate, the dialogue and the characters were the aspects that stood out to me. I wasn’t left with real lasting visual memories of the settings which could have made an even stronger story. Overall, I think this was a well told, engaging story full of lively and realistic characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.