From New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart comes an emotionally charged novel that explores the secrets and lies that can destroy a family…forever.
Home isn’t always the place you go because they have to take you in. Sometimes, home’s the place you can’t escape, no matter how far or fast you run.
Janelle Decker hasn’t been home in a long, long time. She ran away years ago, barely in front of the tragedy that rocked the small town of St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania. Only one other person knows the part Janelle played in what happened back then. One man who took the blame for himself.
Gabe Tierney stayed behind to face the terrible consequences of the accident that left one younger brother permanently disabled and the other doing whatever he can to avoid them all.
When Janelle returns with her twelve-year-old son to get her life in order and take care of her dying Nan, it should be easy for her and Gabe to rekindle their former friendship – except that Gabe can’t forgive Janelle for abandoning him, and Janelle can’t reconcile her part in what happened back then.
There is no moving forward until you stop yourself from looking back, but will Janelle and Gabe be able to face their lives ahead? Or will their secrets and the lies they told keep them prisoners of their shared past?
“A tense look at dark secrets and the redemptive power of truth.” – Kirkus Reviews
Book club discussion questions are included in the book.
Hart's romance is inspired by the belief that young lovers who shared a loathsome secret, a tragic accident, and emotional turmoil can reconnect and rekindle years later to address unfinished business. When troubled teen Janelle Decker was told "rehab or reform school," she opted for her beloved Grandma Nan's house instead. Next door to Nan were the "motherless Tierney boys" Gabe, Andy, and Mikey living with a vulgar, abusive father who made mysterious, unexplained late-night visits to the boys' rooms. Forward 20 years and now single mom Janelle returns to care for her ailing grandma and enroll her son, Bennett, in sixth grade. Still living next door is handsome, surly Gabe, who is openly hostile toward Janelle. Janelle and Gabe's teen romance is portrayed as intense, yet aloof; intimate, voyeuristic incidents expose their mutually gratifying antics via facing bedroom windows, both as teens and now. Hart (All Fall Down) gradually reveals the lurid circumstances surrounding "the favor" and the mystery of the shooting that left Andy disabled as a teen. Janelle's kindness toward Nan, and the emotional toll it takes as she watches her die, is heartfelt, and the detailed physicality involved in caring for an elderly loved one is portrayed vividly and compassionately.