Thirteen years after Annie O’Neill was killed, shot by another woman’s abusive husband whilst working at a women’s shelter, her daughter Lacey is still dealing with the repercussions; not just because she was with her mother when she was shot but because of the secrets that were revealed after Annie died.
Secrets that included the fact her mom cheated on her dad repeatedly throughout their marriage…meaning Lacey’s dad wasn’t Annie’s husband and sending Lacey into a 10 year spiral. First, she tried to match her mom’s public persona – she was known locally as “St. Annie” because of all her good deeds – and then, as the truth emerged, Lacey took on her mom’s worst traits – sleeping with men but not building lasting relationships.
A lot of this has happened in the first two books in the trilogy and, in her Mother’s Shadow, Lacey has mainly come to terms with her past, though her taste in “bad boys” still scares her. Mainly, though, she is a good place. Then she finds out that the man who shot her mom is up for parole. And her best friend dies, leaving her 11 year old daughter in Lacey’s care. Neither are expected and send her into a bit of a tailspin.
Thankfully, newcomer to town Rick is there to help, listening to her and supporting her. If only she felt something for him and not Billy, Lacey’s father. And if only he was telling the truth about why he is visiting the outer banks…because the secrets and lies didn’t end with Annie O’Neills death. They go on and on and nobody seems capable of being honest.
Some lies are white lies, some told for the good of others – supposedly to protect them – but none work out for the best. Knowing how much hurt the lies caused in the first two books in this trilogy, I am amazed people don’t always tell the truth at the first opportunity but they don’t. Still, that’s life. It takes times in most cases for lessons to be learnt…and telling the truth is often the harder option because it can hurt people more than a lie.
One of the things I like about Diane Chamberlains books is how she shows how complicated life can be and how the best option isn’t always the easiest or the one we are likely to take. But she does it without judging. No one is right or wrong in her books – just human – and it makes me think…what would I have done if I was Lacey? Would I tell the truth?
The questions aren’t necessarily life changing but they are relatable….even if the people with the problems are all too pretty (my one complaint with the whole series is how gorgeous everyone it, not something I have come across in Chamberlain’s other books). The gorgeousness issue aside, the book is well written and does well closing the circle from the first in the series and helping Lacey find closure, which was much needed. I would recommended it to fans of Chamberlain or Jodi Piccoult…though you need to start at the beginning. Liked it a lot.