Gerald Candless, renown author, dies of a heart attack leaving behind his wife and two grown daughters. The girls, Sarah and Hope, were very close to their dad as he fostered a special relationship with them at the expense of his wife Ursula. As the family comes to term with the loss, we learn how spoiled the two girls are and how miserable Ursula was with her husband.
When Sarah is approached to write a biography of her dad, she accepts. The first thing she does is start looking in to his past only to find that there's nothing to look in to. Gerald Candless does not exist before a certain date and the Gerald Candless of the town her father claimed as his died as a child. Their father assumed this identity. Why? What was he running from?
This book was difficult to get through for two reasons. First, all the characters are either miserable people or pathetic. The girls are complete snobs and never get what's coming to them. The mom could have helped herself but did nothing. The second reason is because there's a whole bunch of unnecessary filler content. Why do we need to know about Hope and her boyfriend or Sara and her boyfriend? There is no substance there and it doesn't really drive the plot forward.
When we finally find out the reason Gerald left his original life, it's a bit of a let down. We are told throughout the book a few times that this reason is not true only to find out it is. The way it was revealed was sort of interesting, but none of the characters ever really find out which was a let down.
First Line: "Not a word to my girls, he had said on the way home from the hospital."