Every Cathy Holton book I have read, I have enjoyed tremendously. This one was no different. By page 13, I was already in love with the characters and couldn't wait to hear their stories. This always bodes well for me when the story draws me immediately and I can connect with the characters right away. I just knew a captivating story was in store.
At 94 years old, Alice, who came from a socially prominent and privileged background, was not happy that her family hired someone to watch over her. Stella, a 21 year old college student mired in debt and childhood baggage, takes the job as Alice's caretaker. This unlikely pairing surprised even the two of them. Both seemed to recognize a kindred soul in the other.
Alice brightened, slanting her eyes up at Stella. "Ever do this kind of work before?"
"But you think you can handle it?"
"It's not brain surgery. I can handle it."
"They say I"m difficult."
"I'm used to difficult people."
"I'm not difficult. I just like things done a certain way."
Alice folded her hands in her lap. She gave Stella a sly look. "You'd be a pretty girl if you'd do something with your hair."
"And you'd be a nice old lady if you'd stop saying things you shouldn't."
Behind Alice's shoulder, Janice's mouth fell open in shock. The clock on the mantle ticked steadily. Stella thought, I never even had a chance to ask what the hourly rate was.
Without warning, Alice Montclair Whittington put her head back and laughed.
A form of trust akin to real friendship developed and slowly each bared their innermost secrets to each other. Through a series of flashbacks, Alice reveals her family's story and the life she settled for. Stella, struggling with situations in the present, begins to deal with a past that still haunts and wounds her.
There was one small quibble I had with the book; a thread that hinted at something almost frightening and eerie that was never expanded upon. Still, I didn't care because I loved the rest of the book so much. It just resonated with me and really touched my heart. 5*****