In this stunning sequel to her acclaimed debut My Brother’s Keeper, #1 national bestselling author ReShonda Tate Billingsley brings her real-deal insight to a heartfelt new novel about a wife and mother on a daring rescue mission—to save herself.
Freshly forty-five, Aja James knows that her life is good, complete with a loving, wealthy husband, well-adjusted children, and a beautiful home. Yet the truth is, she feels painfully unfulfilled, stuck in the present, haunted by a painful past. When a friend suggests a girls’ trip to a tropical paradise, Aja hopes a change of scene will also change her perspective.
On vacation, filled with fun and freedom, Aja is relieved to find her spirits lifting. But her good time also shines a light on what’s troubling her: from her siblings to her husband and kids, she’s spent nearly her whole life taking care of everyone—except herself. She’s lost her spark. She’s lost her identity.
Desperate to turn things around, Aja makes an impulsive decision—one that outrages her family and stuns her friends. But it may also be her wisest choice. Because it’s only through learning what she could lose—and what’s truly worth keeping—that Aja can transform this temporary fix into real, lasting happiness.
Billingsley (My Brother's Keeper) brings an honest voice to this thoughtful story of a middle-aged woman seeking her purpose in life. Forty-five-year-old Houstonian Aja Clayton, who looks "like a young Whitney Houston," has the ideal husband, two children in college, and close friends but a disturbing feeling has been nagging her. Why does she feel unhappy? Has she given up her own life to care for her family and focus on her job as a social worker? Her true passion painting has been abandoned for those other priorities, and after what began as a girls' trip to the Dominican Republic, Aja decides to extend her stay alone. Previously unrecognized reasons for her discontent are gradually uncovered, including subconsciously grieving her losses after a childhood that was riddled with horrific abuse from her alcoholic father. Conversations with fellow painter Jewel inspire Aja to find her path, and she returns home to Houston to restart her life one she will make her own. The genuine feel of the narrator's voice and surprising twists speed the reading of this page-turner. The story of struggling for meaning in an otherwise wonderful life will resonate with anyone who ponders questions of true contentment.