Few novelists today write with the power to move our hearts, quicken our souls, and enrich our lives like Luanne Rice. In New York Times bestsellers such as Dance with Me, Beach Girls, and The Secret Hour, she vividly captures the dramas that make all the difference in love and families. Now, revisiting the remarkable characters introduced in her bestselling Summer's Child, she brings full circle one of her most compelling explorations of the human heart…all the many ways it can be broken…and the magic that can make it whole again. Their lives were a tapestry woven together by love and loss, tragedy and hope. On the windswept coast of Nova Scotia, Lily and her eight-year-old daughter, Rose, are struggling to embrace a new life even as Lily tries to let go of painful memories of the past. Among the lives that will touch theirs are those of Liam Neill, a dedicated teacher living in self-imposed isolation; Maeve Jameson, mourning the loss of a granddaughter she devoted her life to protecting; and Mark Murphy, a dogged police detective obsessed with a woman who vanished years ago-who may or may not have found what he seeks in a tiny, out-of-the-way maritime village.
In far-off Nova Scotia, Lily Malone finally confronts the man who has always blocked her path but who may be able to assure the future of her daughter, Rose. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 29, 2006
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Excerpt from Summer of Roses by Luanne Rice
How does a person reenter a life she left nine years earlier? Knowing that there had been a relentless search for her, that her picture had been plastered on the front pages of every newspaper in Connecticut and beyond? Understanding that every local police department remained on the lookout for her? Realizing that all but one of her friends and family have given her up for dead?
The answer is, she walks right in the front door.
That's what Lily Malone did in the very-early-morning hours of August ninth. Just past one A.M., Liam Neill parked his truck in the turnaround at Hubbard's Point, lifted Roseýsleeping, after the long drive from Nova Scotiaýand followed Lily down the stone steps.
Lily glanced at the arch over the wishing wellýthere was the house name, Sea Garden, its letters just a little more rusty, a bit more filigreed from the salt air, than they had been nine years earlier. The sight gave her a pang so deep, she gasped out loud. Lily was really home. A breeze blew off Long Island Soundýsalt water, just like the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Maritime Canada, where she had lived and hidden these last nine years. But this night breeze was warm, gentle, filled with scents of marsh grass and sandy beachesýinstead of the fjord's arctic cliffs and cold, clear water flowing straight off the pack ice.
"Oh my," she said out loud, alive with the thrill of finally coming home. The roses greeted herýtheir perfume filled the air, and if the ones growing up the trellis beside the front door were slightly less well tended than they'd been nine years ago, they were still profuse and extravagant. Lily reached up, through the thorns, to feel underneath the shingle just beside the dark porch light, and there it wasýthe key her grandmother had always kept hidden there, guarded by the roses' foliage and thorns. "She didn't move it," she whispered.
"Of course she didn't," Liam said in her ear, standing behind her with Rose. "She never stopped hoping you'd come back."
"Maeve is coming home too," Lily said, opening the squeaky screen door, holding it open with her shoulder, fumbling with the key in the rusty old door lock. "Right? Tell me she's going to be okayý"
"She will be, Lily," Liam said.
Lily felt the key turn. Nine years later, the door made the same bump as it opened, one of the hinges hanging just slightly. Stepping into the kitchen . . . smelling beach-house dampness encroaching from the absence of its owner. Yet someoneýClara, obviouslyýhad opened a few windows. Lily walked through the first floor as if she were a ghost, haunting her most beloved, familiar place on earth.
Lily began to smile. "It's all the same," she whispered. The moon had risen out of the Sound, casting a gleaming white light on the calm water, its pale light flooding the room. Lily saw the familiar slipcovers, braided rugs, pillows she had needlepointed for her grandmother. She ran her fingers over her old shell collection, books in the bookcase, moonstones gathered at low tide on Little Beach.
She had to see everything, yet she couldn't turn on a lamp yet. If she turned on a light, it would mean she was committed to this. "This" meaning that she was really here, that her exile was over, that she had returned to the land of the living. Neighbors would see the light and come over. People would know that she was back.