New York Times bestselling author Nan Rossiter weaves a poignant, empowering novel in which three sisters gather to celebrate their mother’s life—and find new inspiration for living their own…
Losing her father on the night she was born could have torn Beryl Graham’s family apart. Instead, it knitted them together. Under their mother’s steady guidance, Beryl and her older sisters, Isak and Rumer, shared a childhood filled with happiness. But now Mia Graham has passed away after battling Alzheimer’s, and her three daughters return to their New Hampshire home to say goodbye.
Swept up in memories and funeral preparations, the sisters catch up on each other’s lives. Rumer and Isak have both known recent heartache, while Beryl has given up hope of marriage. But surprising revelations abound, especially when they uncover Mia’s handwritten memoir. In it are secrets they never guessed at—clandestine romance, passionate dreams, joy and guilt. And as Beryl, Rumer, and Isak face a future without her, they realize it’s never too late to heed a mother’s lessons—about taking chances, keeping faith, and loving in spite of the risks…
Praise for the novels of Nan Rossiter
"Eloquent and surprising...I love this story of faith, love, and the lasting bonds of family." --Ann Leary, author of Outtakes from a Marriage on The Gin & Chowder Club
“An intimate portrayal of a family in crisis, with good character development and a bucolic setting.” –Publishers Weekly on Words Get in the Way
1. When faced with tragedy, some people turn their back
on God; others find strength in their faith—and their
faith is strengthened. Why does this happen? What
does Mia’s unflagging faith say about her? And how
does her faith influence her daughters?
2. Mia’s old bulldog, Flannery, offers comic relief in an
otherwise sometimes solemn story; Beryl often wonders
if Flannery’s presence in her life is part of God’s
plan to help her get through the loss of her mom. Do
you think this is possible? Does God intimately intervene
in our lives?
3. On several occasions throughout the book, Beryl talks
about God’s tapestry—Mia’s colorful analogy for His
way of weaving human lives together. What evidence of
this is there in the story? Have you ever noticed this occurrence
in your own life?
4. Mia also believed there is no such thing as coincidence
and that everything happens for a reason. Do you think
this is true?
5. Seeking long-term care for a loved one is always a difficult
task. It’s a decision fraught with guilt and heartache,
and in many cases families don’t agree. Some people
make decisions with their heart, others with their
heads. How do the sisters differ in their decision making?
Who, if any, is right?
6. Sometimes it’s truly amazing that siblings turn out to be
so very different from one another. How do Isak, Rumer,
and Beryl differ? What real-life struggles do they face
and how do they deal with them? To which sister do
you most relate and why?
7. Mia was very much in love with her husband and even
though she feels a growing attraction to David, she resolves
to keep their relationship platonic. What changes?
Why does she allow herself to be drawn into an intimate
relationship with him?
8. Mia’s relationship with David is reminiscent of the relationship
between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer
Tracy. What similarities can be drawn from this famous
9. What lessons—if any—do Mia’s daughters take away
from her memoir? How does it affect each of their lives?
10. Throughout the book, Isak seems to make the final decision
on just about everything. In the end, however,
Beryl stands firm in her belief that their mom would
have wanted her ashes spread on David’s property.
How has Beryl changed? How has Isak changed?
11. Within one week of Mia’s passing, Rumer’s and Isak’s
relationships with their husbands are restored and
Beryl is finding new love with Micah. It’s almost as if
Mia’s death triggered several positive changes in her
daughters’ lives. Do you think there’s truth to the adage
“From tragedy comes good”? Where else in the story is
12. The possibility of a lasting relationship with Micah will
fulfill another of Beryl’s deepest hopes. What hope is
that? Will she be good at it?