In a summer read rich in depth and heart, acclaimed author Colleen French tells a story of love, motherhood, friendship, and family in a picturesque Delaware beach town . . .
Each year, the start of summer brings bustle and much-needed tourist dollars to the little town of Albany Beach, Delaware. For Natalie Sullivan, this season is proving more stressful than others. It’s make-or-break time for the Irish pub her husband, Conor, recently bought with his brothers. Their two children are thriving, but she’s experiencing pangs of loss at the end of her childbearing years.
When sixteen-year-old McKenzie starts gushing about Bella, the new coworker at her summer job, Natalie suddenly finds her past and present in conflict. Bella, two years older than McKenzie, looks so similar that a customer remarks that they could be sisters. And when Natalie learns that Bella was adopted, she is propelled back into a heartbreaking decision. As a college student, Natalie became pregnant and put her baby up for adoption. Now, the more McKenzie talks about Bella, the more Natalie wonders: could Bella be her daughter?
Conor insists it’s a mistake to pursue the matter. Natalie’s child belongs to another family now; that was the agreement in the closed adoption. Still, Natalie can’t resist spending time with Bella. As their bond deepens, McKenzie accuses her mother of caring more for a stranger than for her, and Natalie begins imagining what it would be like to have Bella as a second daughter. What will the impact be if Bella really is her biological child? And if she isn’t, can Natalie embrace the joy and potential in her own family, without always wondering about what could have been?