From the New York Times–bestselling author of Picture This—a stunning revelation sends a mother and her adopted daughter on a journey of self-discovery.
How do you keep a secret so huge that it could devastate everyone you care about? For Kate Malloy, the answer is simple: one lie at a time. That’s how she has protected her daughter for more than a dozen years, shielding her from a terrible truth. Sofia, a fifteen-year-old soccer star living in New England, believes she was born in Mexico and legally adopted by Kate. But a posthumous letter from her stepfather tells Sofia a different story—one of civil unrest and bloodshed, death-defying heroism and child-smuggling, harrowing sacrifice and desperate decisions.\
Sofia’s trust in her mother is shattered. At last Kate must do what she knows is right—accompany Sofia back to Guatemala—the place where Kate found horror and heartache but also the greatest joy of her life. As mother and daughter confront the damage done by years of dangerous yet necessary deceptions, they discover how much love, hope, and happiness may still remain—if they have the courage to face their past.
Praise for The Center of the World:
“Sheehan’s writing is lively and vivid and her feel for historical detail is fine.” —The New York Times
“Sheehan uses her skills as both a psychologist and a writer to create a solid, insightful story.” —Kirkus
“An emotionally charged tale that explores the mother-daughter bond, set against the backdrop of the Guatemalan Civil War and complete with beautiful prose despite the atrocities. . . . Sheehan places the reader in the middle of war-torn Guatemala and expertly carries her narrative through war and peace, fear and security, and love and redemption.” —Publishers Weekly
The latest from Sheehan (Lost and Found) is an emotionally charged tale that explores the mother-daughter bond, set against the backdrop of the Guatemalan Civil War and complete with beautiful prose despite the atrocities. It's 2003 and Sofia Malloy, grieving the loss of her stepfather, Martin, is unprepared for information contained in a posthumous letter she receives from him. She learns that everything she believed about her adoption is a lie and decides to confront her mother, Kate, who is forced to come clean. The story then jumps back to 1990, as Kate details her time as a grad student in Guatemala and how Sofia came into her life. Kate felt she was doing the right thing when she protected Sofia during the unrest in Santa Teresa. Feeling she has lost everything, Sofia is determined to discover the truth about her past, which will take her, along with her mother and grandfather, on a journey from Massachusetts to Guatemala. Will Kate lose the daughter she fought so hard to save? Sheehan's background in psychology is evident in the pinpoint family dynamics. Sophia's confusion and pain are palpable. Kate's regret, as well as her desire to make things right, is immediate and heartrending. Sheehan places the reader in the middle of war-torn Guatemala and expertly carries her narrative through war and peace, fear and security, and love and redemption.