Release date: January 31, 2017
Book Blurb from Goodreads.com
Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.
Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge…but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?
Maddy is a ghost looking for a replacement for herself. She committed suicide and left behind a seventeen year old daughter, Eve and husband, Brady. She is able to read the minds of those she is watching and her spirit can direct their actions. Her goal is to find someone to love and take care her family. The story is narrated by each character.
Brady and Eve are left sorting out their lives and their relationship with each other while grieving. No note was left behind and they have no answers to why she left them. Eve begins to retreat from her friends and wants to attend boarding school next year. She feels that people are uncomfortable around her and conversations are difficult. She does not want to be known as the girl whose mother killed herself. She also misses her mother and feels guilty for taking her for granted.
Brady is overwhelmed with the responsibilities of raising a daughter alone and picking up the household duties. He realizes that he has not been the best husband or father. His relationship with Eve is strained since they haven’t spent a lot of time together. Maddy kept a daily journal which he shares with Eve and this is the catalyst towards improving their relationship. Together, they unlock Maddy’s secrets and gain closure on her death.
Although this book is mostly about a grieving family, it is also about the complexity of relationships. The dialogues between the characters are well executed. I enjoyed the internal thoughts of each character, and felt it added humor to the book. I am looking forward to the author’s next book.