Grace Hawkes has not spoken to her previously tight-knit family since her mother's sudden death five years ago. Well, most of the family was tight-knit--her father walked out on them when she was 13 and she and her two brothers and sister bonded together even closer with their mother as a result.
She's been doing her best to live her new life apart from them, but when their estranged father has a stroke and summons them, Grace suddenly realizes she's done the same thing he had done...abandoned those who need her most.
And need her they do, for inside the hospital walls, a strange war is unfolding between the pseudo-kindly woman who is their father's second wife and the rest of the original Hawkes clan. Upon reconnecting with her brother and sisters, Grace will find a part of herself she thought was lost forever. As they unravel the manipulative deception of the second Mrs. Hawkes, Grace will finally be able to stand up for her family--and to remember what a family is, even after all these years.
Palmer (Conversations with the Fat Girl) delivers a breezy feel-good story of family bonding. After hearing about her father's stroke, smart-ass heroine Grace Hawkes prepares for the wrath of the siblings she's ignored for the five years since their mother's death. Things are a little tricky, since their dad, Ray, left the family 20 years before and was a prolific philanderer, now remarried to the unsavory Connie. Snappy sibling bickering (sometimes too much of it) takes a bit of the melodramatic edge off as oldest sibling Huston takes charge and is surprisingly given power of attorney. Connie and her adult son, Dennis, aren't happy about this, which raises suspicion among the Hawkes siblings, especially after they visit their father's house and find no trace of Connie having lived there; instead, it's a shrine to Ray's first wife and the kids. As Ray's health declines in the hospital, tensions heat up and a legal showdown looms. There aren't any surprises in the sunny resolution, but Palmer takes enough unexpected detours on the way there to keep readers engaged.