Author: Susan Henderson
Publication Date: September 21, 2010
ARC Donated By: Jen (Crazy-for-Books)
When Tillie Harris goes into labor with her first child, nothing is right. Her husband is away on business, the boxes in her new home aren’t unpacked, and the telephone isn’t even connected yet. Forced to reach out to her estranged father for help, their first contact in years, Tillie must face the painful memories she’s been running from since she was a little girl—the memories of her own mother and the year that changed everything.
As a child, Tillie’s home was a manic and messy world with her mother, Mara, at its center. While some days brought dancing, dress-up, and laughter, others became long hours of listening to Mara cry, depressed and unable get out of bed. When Tillie’s father takes a top job at the Pentagon and forces the family to move, and as Mara’s worsening condition can no longer be ignored, Tillie’s life spirals out of control.
When the family arrives at their new home in Washington, Tillie’s mother has vanished—a stunning development made even more disorienting by her father’s refusal to discuss what happened. As he tries to impose a new, orderly pattern to family life, Tillie’s fertile imagination attempts to fill in the missing gaps, inventing elaborate narratives about what might have happened, and about her father’s culpability. But when the veil is lifted and the mystery revealed, Tillie discovers that the truth behind her mother’s disappearance is far more complicated than she could have imagined.
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