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In her career as a photojournalist, free-spirited Jessie Ryder has seen the world through her camera lens. But she's never traveled far enough to escape a painful moment that has haunted her for the past sixteen years: the day she gave her baby daughter away. Now, facing a life-altering crisis, she's decided to fix the broken pieces of her heart and seek out Lila, even if In her career as a photojournalist, free-spirited Jessie Ryder has seen the world through her camera lens. But she's never traveled far enough to escape a painful moment that has haunted her for the past sixteen years: the day she gave her baby daughter away. Now, facing a life-altering crisis, she's decided to fix the broken pieces of her heart and seek out Lila, even if it means she has to upset the world of Lila's adoptive mother her very own sister, Luz. Like a Technicolor tornado bursting into Luz's picture-perfect life, Jessie returns to her Texas hometown with a shattering request. She wants to tell Lila the truth. As Luz and her husband struggle with what Jessie's return may mean to the rebellious Lila, their seemingly solid marriage falters. Old secrets are exposed. Then, just as Jessie comes to terms with the past, life's bittersweet irony plays its hand. She meets Dustin Matlock, a young father who has survived a devastating loss. And Jessie begins to see the hopeful possibilities that lie buried in the most wrenching tragedies. Though she aches to reach out to those she loves, Jessie stands at the crossroads. She is leaving behind the only life she knows and leaping blindly into the unknown. Now the choice she makes will affect the life of her daughter and challenge the meaning of sisterhood. As Jessie and Luz examine the true meaning of love, loyalty and family, they are drawn into an emotional tug-of-war filled with moments of unexpected humor, surprising sweetness and unbearable sadness. But as the pain, regrets and mistakes of the past slowly rise to the surface, a new picture emerges a picture filled with hope and promise and the redeeming power of the human heart.


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In her career as a photojournalist, free-spirited Jessie Ryder has seen the world through her camera lens. But she's never traveled far enough to escape a painful moment that has haunted her for the past sixteen years: the day she gave her baby daughter away. Now, facing a life-altering crisis, she's decided to fix the broken pieces of her heart and seek out Lila, even if In her career as a photojournalist, free-spirited Jessie Ryder has seen the world through her camera lens. But she's never traveled far enough to escape a painful moment that has haunted her for the past sixteen years: the day she gave her baby daughter away. Now, facing a life-altering crisis, she's decided to fix the broken pieces of her heart and seek out Lila, even if it means she has to upset the world of Lila's adoptive mother her very own sister, Luz. Like a Technicolor tornado bursting into Luz's picture-perfect life, Jessie returns to her Texas hometown with a shattering request. She wants to tell Lila the truth. As Luz and her husband struggle with what Jessie's return may mean to the rebellious Lila, their seemingly solid marriage falters. Old secrets are exposed. Then, just as Jessie comes to terms with the past, life's bittersweet irony plays its hand. She meets Dustin Matlock, a young father who has survived a devastating loss. And Jessie begins to see the hopeful possibilities that lie buried in the most wrenching tragedies. Though she aches to reach out to those she loves, Jessie stands at the crossroads. She is leaving behind the only life she knows and leaping blindly into the unknown. Now the choice she makes will affect the life of her daughter and challenge the meaning of sisterhood. As Jessie and Luz examine the true meaning of love, loyalty and family, they are drawn into an emotional tug-of-war filled with moments of unexpected humor, surprising sweetness and unbearable sadness. But as the pain, regrets and mistakes of the past slowly rise to the surface, a new picture emerges a picture filled with hope and promise and the redeeming power of the human heart.

30 review for Home Before Dark

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    At first I was thoroughly enjoying this book despite being slightly annoyed by the main character Jessie. She was narcissistic and selfish but she did grow throughout the book and I came to like her. There were two points that really bothered me though. And bothered me enough to drastically affect my enjoyment of the story. First, the insta-love. After grieving for your dead wife for years, within a day you fall in love with a woman you just met and want to marry her. A tad bit unbelievable and At first I was thoroughly enjoying this book despite being slightly annoyed by the main character Jessie. She was narcissistic and selfish but she did grow throughout the book and I came to like her. There were two points that really bothered me though. And bothered me enough to drastically affect my enjoyment of the story. First, the insta-love. After grieving for your dead wife for years, within a day you fall in love with a woman you just met and want to marry her. A tad bit unbelievable and it quite annoyed me. And then the ending. Really? That's how it's going to end? Talk about leaving you hanging...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    I rarely read two books by the same author one after the other but these were in the same volume, so, having loved The Goodbye Quilt, I turned straight to Home Before Dark. For me it was a mistake. Whether it was me or the book is debatable. Initially this story was written 8 years before The Goodbye quilt. Could that be the problem or was it that I didn’t relate to the characters in this one as well as the other story. The story has a lot going for it. It is the story of Jessie who, as a single I rarely read two books by the same author one after the other but these were in the same volume, so, having loved The Goodbye Quilt, I turned straight to Home Before Dark. For me it was a mistake. Whether it was me or the book is debatable. Initially this story was written 8 years before The Goodbye quilt. Could that be the problem or was it that I didn’t relate to the characters in this one as well as the other story. The story has a lot going for it. It is the story of Jessie who, as a single young mother, handed her child over to her sister Luz to raise. Sixteen years later with only emails and phone calls in between, Jessie arrives at her sister’s place and you just know that is going to cause trouble. Here is where I ran into problems. To me, Jessie was selfish, thoughtless and never considered anyone else’s feelings. As for Lila, the daughter, all I can say is I am glad I never had a child like that. It certainly does raise some issues about whether the truth is always the best for all concerned, the timing of telling children they are adopted, and the behaviour of teenagers who think they are invincible and who never think of the consequences of actions. Some actions in this story have severe repercussions. These were the things that kept me reading even though I did not like Jessie or Lila much. Luz, on the other hand was, at times, too good almost to be true and yet underneath she carried her own resentment for opportunities lost. Still, she was my favourite character. There is romance and Dusty is a man who has suffered his own heartbreak. Even given the issue Jessie was facing, which I won’t disclose here, I struggled to see what he saw in Jessie. But who can tell what attracts one person to another? And if someone had taken my child and helped her get a tattoo without permission, I would have blown a gasket. Jessie says herself afterward, ‘She hadn’t been thinking. It was always that way with her. She’d been governed by impulse rather than caution.’ And then she is surprised when Luz was angry! The plot covers a lot of issues. Although there were things I liked and I admit to getting a bit misty eyed at times, as the story progressed, I also got angry and frustrated with the characters. the sudden conversion of Heath, Lila’s boyfriend for part of the novel, never struck me as realistic and neither did the behaviour of others in the supposed Christian group of teens. All in all a good read but just not quite as good as I was expecting. Not the cover I had which has The Goodbye Quilt as the first story.See my review of it for the right cover.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kim Bowen

    First let me say I have enjoyed many books by Susan Wiggs. I am just not sure what happened with this one. Major problems for me were an unlikeable protagonist and a completely unbelieavable...well...everything. I think Ms. Wiggs was trying to show the lead character as a flawed but likeable person. I just couldn't get past her flaws. Jessie was completely self-absorbed to the point of being clinically narcissistic. But what kept me groaning in pain was the unrealistic scenarios. For example, a m First let me say I have enjoyed many books by Susan Wiggs. I am just not sure what happened with this one. Major problems for me were an unlikeable protagonist and a completely unbelieavable...well...everything. I think Ms. Wiggs was trying to show the lead character as a flawed but likeable person. I just couldn't get past her flaws. Jessie was completely self-absorbed to the point of being clinically narcissistic. But what kept me groaning in pain was the unrealistic scenarios. For example, a man grieving for two years for his dead wife decides within 10 minutes the girl is the one. He is in love. Then there is the troubled and rebellious teen who ends up with PTSD and everyone decides to shake her world with the truth about her parentage but no one....NOT ONE PERSON....suggests counseling. And once the teen hears the unbelievable truth....she shrugs and heads off to some school event. What? Ms. Wiggs did her research on photography, eye diseases, helping centers for the blind and yet completely missed the psychological aspects of her characters. I think I'm putting so much effort into this review because I'm a psychotherapist and this book was ridiculous in its pathological characters.....but whatever. Definitely not her best work.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    This book sure wasn't what I expected it to be from reading the synopsis, it was so much better. But the book should come with a warning.....make sure that you have some Kleenex near by, all of a sudden things would happen out of no where and the next thing I knew I had tears running down my face, and it wasn't just once it happened multiple times. You think this book will be Jess finding new love, and sure it does happen, but it isn't what is so great about this book. The great thing about this This book sure wasn't what I expected it to be from reading the synopsis, it was so much better. But the book should come with a warning.....make sure that you have some Kleenex near by, all of a sudden things would happen out of no where and the next thing I knew I had tears running down my face, and it wasn't just once it happened multiple times. You think this book will be Jess finding new love, and sure it does happen, but it isn't what is so great about this book. The great thing about this book is the journey that all of the characters go on, one where they have to face up to the mistakes they made in the past, the losses they faced, and come to terms with all of them. Jess and Luz have an uneasy relationship, sisters that are fiercely protective of each other, yet jealous of the other's life style. Jess can't bring herself to let people in and love her, she holds everyone at an arms length. Lila, is the typical teen, going through her rebellious phase, which leads to grave consequences, forcing her to deal with the aftermath, then just when she is getting on her feet, she is rocked by a family secret. Dan, had to face wife's death, the souvenir of it being his daughter, one he has a hard time connecting with. Ian, lives in a madhouse of his normal family, but loosing his connection with that family. So many issues, all these people with connecting strings to each other. But before any one of them can heal and go forward they all need to band together for the other's. There are so many cute moments in this book, ones that will have you smiling, ones that will have you gasping, and ones that will have you go all gooey in the middle. If you are looking for an emotional read that will leave you with a feel good smile on your face check out this book!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Velvetink

    Not challenging to me. Not great fiction even though Jodi Picoult gives it a rave on the back cover. Some genre of women's romance I guess. 2-3 stars. The 3rd star mainly for the occupation of photographer of one of the characters who ends up going blind. One of my fears. Even with all the disasters that Jesse has occur in her life Susan Wiggs manages to turn it all into a pink frosted cake with marriage at the end - so much sweet it made me sick. Sorry to all those that like romantic fiction - Not challenging to me. Not great fiction even though Jodi Picoult gives it a rave on the back cover. Some genre of women's romance I guess. 2-3 stars. The 3rd star mainly for the occupation of photographer of one of the characters who ends up going blind. One of my fears. Even with all the disasters that Jesse has occur in her life Susan Wiggs manages to turn it all into a pink frosted cake with marriage at the end - so much sweet it made me sick. Sorry to all those that like romantic fiction - not sure why I picked up the book in the first place but know I am going to be avoiding this genre like the plague in future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Good fast romantic drama, touches on a ton of issues

  7. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    I loved this book from beginning to end!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Torey

    Not incredibly creative, although I really did enjoy her characters. A woman finds herself pregnant an not ready to become a mother, so her newly married sister agrees to adopt the baby. Baby is born prematurely and before the doctors know if baby will survive, momma takes off and is not heard from for years. 15 yrs later, after receiving a life altering diagnosis, she decides it's time to return to her sisters home and meet her daughter. I journeyed thru this book along side her lies, secrets, Not incredibly creative, although I really did enjoy her characters. A woman finds herself pregnant an not ready to become a mother, so her newly married sister agrees to adopt the baby. Baby is born prematurely and before the doctors know if baby will survive, momma takes off and is not heard from for years. 15 yrs later, after receiving a life altering diagnosis, she decides it's time to return to her sisters home and meet her daughter. I journeyed thru this book along side her lies, secrets, and poor decisions wondering if I would have done the same. The part of this book that just doesn't sit right is the beautifully charming handsome neighbor who sweeps our main character off her feet. All the while she's begging to leave. As the reader I think we can obviously see that this man is the best thing for her, and I'm not denying that. But it verged on abuse/and at times rather aggressive behavior to me. Just rubbed me the wrong way. I love a happy ending, but just wondered if that was meant to be for her.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ok, I liked some of it. . . neither sister, Luz nor Jessie, were particularly strong characters. They each had their issues, yet I did appreciate that author Susan Wiggs had them wrestle with their shortcomings, their secrets and their enduring love for one another and the daughter they shared. Overall, the story line was a good one. I found Jessie's life changing diagnosis of AZOOR, her resulting blindness, and rehabilitation both heroic and interesting. The 'romance' stretched thin. The ending Ok, I liked some of it. . . neither sister, Luz nor Jessie, were particularly strong characters. They each had their issues, yet I did appreciate that author Susan Wiggs had them wrestle with their shortcomings, their secrets and their enduring love for one another and the daughter they shared. Overall, the story line was a good one. I found Jessie's life changing diagnosis of AZOOR, her resulting blindness, and rehabilitation both heroic and interesting. The 'romance' stretched thin. The ending was weak, and a big disappointment. For me, Jessie choosing to marry Dusty for love would have been much more romantic and tender, rather than discovering she is pregnant with his child being the tipping point. Ugh!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Debby

    I found the story and found it very interesting, as the main character suffered from a visual loss very similar to what I am going through though I have not lost all vision in my right eye. At the age of 21, Jessie gave up her prematurely newborn daughter to be adopted by her sister Lucy and Lucy's soon-to-be husband Ian. Jessie then traveled overseas to become a photojournalist on the other side of the world. Now, 15 years later, Jess is faced with the very real and impending fact that she is l I found the story and found it very interesting, as the main character suffered from a visual loss very similar to what I am going through though I have not lost all vision in my right eye. At the age of 21, Jessie gave up her prematurely newborn daughter to be adopted by her sister Lucy and Lucy's soon-to-be husband Ian. Jessie then traveled overseas to become a photojournalist on the other side of the world. Now, 15 years later, Jess is faced with the very real and impending fact that she is losing her eyesight. She wants to see her child before she goes completely blind. But, this will bring a lot of turmoil into her sister's family. Then (as in all novels of this genre), there's a widower with a toddler who lives right across the lake from Luce and Ian. How will this widower and his child play into the story? I think if it wasn't for the main characters vision issue, I wouldn't have been drawn to a book like this. But, I have to say after reading the book, it really was pretty good...een with the predictable nature of a romace novel.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I would actually give this book 3 1/2 stars if I could. Susan Wiggs usually writes romances, and that's what I expected when I put Home Before Dark on hold. But although there are definitely romantic themes in this book, it's really more a story about two sisters and the complicated bonds of love that tie families together. The premise of the book is that Jessie, the free-wheeling photographer, comes home to her sister's house in Texas to see her family one last time. Sixteen years ago she gave I would actually give this book 3 1/2 stars if I could. Susan Wiggs usually writes romances, and that's what I expected when I put Home Before Dark on hold. But although there are definitely romantic themes in this book, it's really more a story about two sisters and the complicated bonds of love that tie families together. The premise of the book is that Jessie, the free-wheeling photographer, comes home to her sister's house in Texas to see her family one last time. Sixteen years ago she gave away her baby daughter to her sister Luz, and now Lila is just as rebellious as Jessie. Sixteen years ago, Luz gave up her own promising photography career to get married and raise not only Lila but also three boys born over the next few years. What kind of lies do we tell ourselves or our loved ones in the name of protecting them? At what cost? I'd say more, but I don't want to give anything away. :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Anne

    This book is so good,Jessie comes home to see the people that are most important to her before she completly loses her sight(Home Before Dark),it actually scared me ,it was written so well that I could put myself in her place and know what that feels like and also marking time as each step in this going blind process happens ,and what part of her sight is lost each time she loses a little more. How depressing it was to finally find someone and have to tell them what lies ahead,know ing so many gu This book is so good,Jessie comes home to see the people that are most important to her before she completly loses her sight(Home Before Dark),it actually scared me ,it was written so well that I could put myself in her place and know what that feels like and also marking time as each step in this going blind process happens ,and what part of her sight is lost each time she loses a little more. How depressing it was to finally find someone and have to tell them what lies ahead,know ing so many guys would probably just take off with a problem like this. Love when she tells him he isn`t invited back to her place and he laughs and asks when that has ever stopped him. And what a Hero we have here,one look is all I`d need.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Linda C

    When Jessie Ryder was 21 she left her premature baby in the hands of her newly married sister, Luz, to adopt. It tore her up, but she considered herself a poor mother for a child. She took up her photo internship and more across the world. Sixteen years later her desire to see her daughter and reconcile with her sister brings her home. Luz has 3 more children, all boys, and a full life; also a slightly wobbly marriage and a rebellious daughter, Lila. As Jessie and Luz work on their problems, Jes When Jessie Ryder was 21 she left her premature baby in the hands of her newly married sister, Luz, to adopt. It tore her up, but she considered herself a poor mother for a child. She took up her photo internship and more across the world. Sixteen years later her desire to see her daughter and reconcile with her sister brings her home. Luz has 3 more children, all boys, and a full life; also a slightly wobbly marriage and a rebellious daughter, Lila. As Jessie and Luz work on their problems, Jessie also meets a new man, a widower with a 2 year old daughter. As if this isn't enough, Jessie has more secrets and decisions to make concerning what to tell and what to avoid. This is an angst filled story that puts a lot of pressure on all the characters. Very well done.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Georgiann Hennelly

    A very heart warming story about a photo journalist , a free spirit. Jessie Ryder has never been able to escape the painful moment of 16 years ago when she gave away her baby daughter. When she finds out she has a disease that will soon leave her blind. She leaves her career to go back home and make things right with her sister. Amazing story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Another great book from Susan Wiggs! She can find ways to address several real-life issues at once and they have a way of resolving themselves but not in a fake, could never happen to me, way.

  16. 4 out of 5

    MC

    Read this book in two days. First time I have read a book by Susan Wiggs, definitely will read more.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chloe (Always Booked)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is a 3 1/2 star. I loved the characters but HATED the insta love and found it super off-putting. I also found Luz's selflessness a little too exaggerated- she was just a doormat! This is a story about Jessie, a carefree young woman who travels the world as a photographer and never stays in one place for long. When she was younger, she got pregnant but did not want the baby tying her down, so her sister, Luz, adopted the baby and raised her as her own. Fast forward 16 years and Jessie s This book is a 3 1/2 star. I loved the characters but HATED the insta love and found it super off-putting. I also found Luz's selflessness a little too exaggerated- she was just a doormat! This is a story about Jessie, a carefree young woman who travels the world as a photographer and never stays in one place for long. When she was younger, she got pregnant but did not want the baby tying her down, so her sister, Luz, adopted the baby and raised her as her own. Fast forward 16 years and Jessie shows up at Luz's house because she wants to see her daughter, Lila. Luz has since had 3 other kids with her husband and they have a very nice, albeit chaotic, life as a family. Her sister is a stay at home mom who quit college so there would be freedom and money for Jessie to complete college and do her thing. Jessie comes back because she has a disease that is going to make her go blind and she wants to see Lila before she can't see anymore. However, she doesn't tell anyone about her condition, she just privately alludes to it in her own thoughts. As she's there, she meets the neighbor man who is a widower and father to a very young girl, Amber. He has an older Mexican man that lives with him and is his nanny. He and Jessie instantly fall in love (like seriously- the day they met) and he comes on to her in a manner that seemed very crude and blunt for a man who hasn't dated or had any interest in women since his wife died 2 years ago. I liked the story of his wife dying of an aneurism and his daughter being born by a miracle, and I would've liked a romance between him and Jessie, but for a broken and scarred man to be instantly and aggressively pursuing her was distasteful in my opinion. While Jessie is there, she tries to be cool aunt with Lila and turns a blind eye when she's sneaking out with a boy. Hours later Lila is in a terrible car crash in which one of her friends dies and the rest are very injured- but she walks away with just bumps and bruises. Jessie tries to get to know her and when she comes home from the hospital and is on house arrest, there is ample opportunity. As Jessie's vision begins to fade, she knows its time for her to leave if she's going to keep her secret. She goes into a treatment facility that teaches blind people how to cope and continue to function. She gets a seeing eye dog and is doing well, but she's living a very lonely life. Until one day, TA DA, the neighbor shows up, continues to confess his love to her (blind or not) and takes her back home to Luz's house. Luz has taken over Jessie's photography job that she was working in Texas. She and her husband told Lila that Jessie was her actual mother, although her dad was really her dad because she was the product of an affair that happened before Luz and her husband ever met. Lila doesn't really care and its not a very pivotal plot point. In the end, everyone is happy and a big family. Lila is coming out of her rebellious stage and the truth is all out in the open. I found this story and it's characters really endearing, but Susan Wiggs just took tropes a little too far and made things unrealistic. With a few changes, this could've been a 5 star.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shanthi

    Good: this book was an easy/quick read, and I did feel compelled to finish even though I knew what the plot-line would be. The changing perspectives in the chapters wasn't jarring like it can be, so that was a bonus. Bad: the characters are all so one-dimensional, especially the main character. We know/learn virtually nothing about her, even though most of the book is written from her POV. I'm sure there are other things that I've forgotten (in the 24 hours since finishing the book), but I read th Good: this book was an easy/quick read, and I did feel compelled to finish even though I knew what the plot-line would be. The changing perspectives in the chapters wasn't jarring like it can be, so that was a bonus. Bad: the characters are all so one-dimensional, especially the main character. We know/learn virtually nothing about her, even though most of the book is written from her POV. I'm sure there are other things that I've forgotten (in the 24 hours since finishing the book), but I read the last page and just went "hm, well...okay then", and then had a bunch of questions about the characters/plot: (view spoiler)[ - Jessie gives birth to premature, possibly-going-to-die infant, and just runs off? Really? Having no experience of giving a child up for adoption myself, maybe this is a valid reaction, but it seems weird, especially since we're led to believe that she's constantly thinking about her daughter, but her actions show otherwise (no visits, few calls/emails, no curiosity about her sister's family/life/etc) - Luz has a "gift" for photographing people so intense that she instantly wins some prestigious award with her first professional photo shoot...really...? Also that was made a big deal about (Jessie's the only one who understands!) and then dropped. - Ian/Jessie supposedly hating each other...I can see why Ian would think Jessie's a flake because he's still butt-hurt over her ending their fling, but why does she have a bad opinion about him? Especially if she went to all the trouble of hiding paternity/getting along with him/etc for Luz's sake. It felt like we were missing quite a few encounters/events at university that would explain their behaviour 20 years later. - Lila has all this angst (presumably normal teenager level), then finds out that she's partially-adopted and her dad/aunt had a fling, and gets over it in about 30 seconds? I find that hard to believe, given how dramatic she was over having to clean her room. (hide spoiler)]

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lori Michael Johnson

    Plain and simple Susan Wiggs is Chick lit. However, this was a little deeper than many of her books. I enjoyed it. I needed reasonably easy and not too heavy due to the current situation with the quarantine. Susan Wiggs is that author if, like me, you have already read every Elin hilderbrand book she's ever written. This book had depth. There was family drama, tragedy, adoption, relationship woes, child-rearing issues, love, and that doesn't even wrap it all up. It has a little of everything but Plain and simple Susan Wiggs is Chick lit. However, this was a little deeper than many of her books. I enjoyed it. I needed reasonably easy and not too heavy due to the current situation with the quarantine. Susan Wiggs is that author if, like me, you have already read every Elin hilderbrand book she's ever written. This book had depth. There was family drama, tragedy, adoption, relationship woes, child-rearing issues, love, and that doesn't even wrap it all up. It has a little of everything but enough that you felt the subject had been thoroughly covered. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, of course some more than others. I had read to about page 40 and had become interested in the book, but then I came back and read some reviews. I was about to put the book down and not read it but I'm glad I did finish. I did not find the protagonist Jessie to be a horrible person or narcissistic. Just simply different than her sister, more a product of her upbringing. Dusty was a dream. I loved Luz. Lila, Jesse's niece, was a bratty teenager and I probably would have had a heavier hand with her but I thought for the first time in a novel like this the parents put their foot down several times. Usually they offer lets them get away with murder. I devoured this in one day and chick lit or not, I was really into the book and could not put it down. I wanted to know what happened to these people and how their issues were solved. I do recommend this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    When the story started out Luz and Ian had 4 kids; Lila, Wyatt, Owen and Scotty. By the middle of the book Wyatt wasn't even mentioned anymore. Luz says to Jessie ( that self absorbed pig) regarding unplanned pregnancy "I did the same, having babies unplanned. And look what I got for my troubles- Owen and Scotty." There was a mention that Owen was mentally challenged but that's as far as that discussion went. The baby Amber was close to two years old and could barely walk or talk! I really thoug When the story started out Luz and Ian had 4 kids; Lila, Wyatt, Owen and Scotty. By the middle of the book Wyatt wasn't even mentioned anymore. Luz says to Jessie ( that self absorbed pig) regarding unplanned pregnancy "I did the same, having babies unplanned. And look what I got for my troubles- Owen and Scotty." There was a mention that Owen was mentally challenged but that's as far as that discussion went. The baby Amber was close to two years old and could barely walk or talk! I really thought that the Lila rebellion would really heat up after she found out who her real parents were (ewww) but no, she just shrugged it off and got to baking some cookies. Life with a teenage girl should be so boring. At the end of the book the author thanks all her first readers and critical readers. Maybe she needs to find a different group.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Cheyne

    Jessie Ryder returns to the home where she grew up after traveling the world as a photojournalist for the past sixteen years. She wants to see the girl she gave birth to before the disease which is making her lose her eye sight progresses further. Jessie knew she could never care for the tiny infant so she gave Lila to the two people who could - her sister Luz and brother-in-law Ian. Jessie takes on one final assignment. In doing so, she meets Dusty Matlock. Sparks fly between them. But Jessie k Jessie Ryder returns to the home where she grew up after traveling the world as a photojournalist for the past sixteen years. She wants to see the girl she gave birth to before the disease which is making her lose her eye sight progresses further. Jessie knew she could never care for the tiny infant so she gave Lila to the two people who could - her sister Luz and brother-in-law Ian. Jessie takes on one final assignment. In doing so, she meets Dusty Matlock. Sparks fly between them. But Jessie knows that she could never make him take care of her once she is blind. Once again she does what she has done all her life - packs her bags and disappears into the night.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Parsons

    Not sure how I feel about this book. This one had a more negative vibe than the author's other books. It started slow. The main character, Jessie, wasn't one I warmed up to or sided with at first. As it continued it was better . I felt a bit more connected to it's characters. The book ended with questions left unanswered -Overall it just lacked alot of what I find compelling in all the other Wigg's books I've read. Not sure how I feel about this book. This one had a more negative vibe than the author's other books. It started slow. The main character, Jessie, wasn't one I warmed up to or sided with at first. As it continued it was better . I felt a bit more connected to it's characters. The book ended with questions left unanswered -Overall it just lacked alot of what I find compelling in all the other Wigg's books I've read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I loved this story because all the characters were allowed to change and grow. Jessie Ryder waited till the last minute to have her growth spurt but even the self centered Jessie changed. And the story made me wonder how I would have reacted in Jessie's place, hopefully I would have told my family and Dusty what was happening and had their support and love instead of running off and coping on my own. But then that's me. I loved this story because all the characters were allowed to change and grow. Jessie Ryder waited till the last minute to have her growth spurt but even the self centered Jessie changed. And the story made me wonder how I would have reacted in Jessie's place, hopefully I would have told my family and Dusty what was happening and had their support and love instead of running off and coping on my own. But then that's me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Naihommy

    Didn’t expect to like this book so much, not sure why (perhaps because I had never seen or heard of it). But I was pleasantly surprised. Great story. The characters seemed so real. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Dusty at first. He seemed too cocky, sure of himself. But by the end of the book, I grew to like him and understood why he was the way he was. Not sure if that made any sense. Lol Anyway, I would definitely recommend this read!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paula Doncevic

    She learned you can go home again... When the prodigal child, Jessie returns to her family home after almost 16 years away, she stays with her sister's fAmily in Texas. She meets her niece and nephews, discovering the unique truth for each. Over time, she even learns her own truth... She learned you can go home again... When the prodigal child, Jessie returns to her family home after almost 16 years away, she stays with her sister's fAmily in Texas. She meets her niece and nephews, discovering the unique truth for each. Over time, she even learns her own truth...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura Aase

    This was a great sister tale. Jessie, the wild and crazy, returns to her sisters home after a 16 year absence with a load of secrets. Dependable sister Luz,welcomes her with open arms back to their childhood home, not realizing the crazy that is about to become her life. As the secrets unfold and love blossoms, this is a satisfying story and a good Romance.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    This was my first novel by Susan Wiggs, and it contained all the ingredients of a gripping romance: love/hate between siblings, longheld family secrets, adoption, unplanned pregnancy, an incurable illness, and of course passion. There was nothing very deep, but the story kept me glued and was worth reading on hot summer days.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Soeleen

    The 1st part of the book is more engrossing than the 2nd. Ironically, the very charm of the book--that it talks through several voices (sometimes characters' sometimes the author's) also makes it a little unfocused. However, the narrative is exciting and gripping in several parts. The 1st part of the book is more engrossing than the 2nd. Ironically, the very charm of the book--that it talks through several voices (sometimes characters' sometimes the author's) also makes it a little unfocused. However, the narrative is exciting and gripping in several parts.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Isa

    Generally, I enjoyed the story, but I found Jessie very annoying and selfish. She basically made everyone lie, then decided it was time for the others to tell the truth and disappeared, leaving her family dealing with the consequences.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Massanutten Regional Library

    Wilma, Village patron, June 2019, 5 stars: I waltzed through all her books on the shelves at Broadway. There are rounded out characters and surprises in the plot. She is versatile and all of her books are a good read.

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