The matriarch, Sylvie Bates-McAllister, is from a family of means and lives the current lifestyle of a family of means. Her grandfather Charlie built the house she and her family currently live in. He also single handedly rebuilt the prestigious private school, Swithin, nearby. Sylvie has lived in her grandfather’s legacy, or quite possibly, in his shadow. Every decision she has ever made seems to have been based on whether or not Charlie Roderick would have made that decision or if he would have approved of her decision. She has not seemed to have changed a thing about the house she inherited from her grandfather and currently serves on the board of Swithin.
Sylvie’s oldest son Charles, is newly married to Joanna, working a job at an advertising agency that he does not like at all. Charles is still trying to find his place is life. He is struggling to find himself as a writer, as a husband, as a son, and as a brother to his adopted brother Scott.
Scott, the youngest son and the adopted son, has always struggled to know who he is and where he fits into his family. He has always felt contempt from his brother for not being a real Bates-McAllister. Even though he is in his mid-twenties, he still lives at home doing as he pleases. It seems that no one in his family has ever actually expected anything more than that, so why bother doing anything?
It is with a single phone call that Sylvie’s life and the lives of her two grown children get thrown into chaos.
From this phone call the reader is placed into this family and how they handle their chaos. What starts out as one possible family problem ends up taking the family down a whole different road. There are many underlying issues that everyone in the family is facing.
The ending for me was fairly satisfying. It definitely left me, as a reader, with a sense of hope for the family. That they all had grown through what they all had gone through, as a family and as individuals.
This book is definitely different from the Pretty Little Liars series. However, if you are a fan of Shepard's other work but want something that has a much more mature tone, then this is a great book for you. This was not a fast paced book nor was it a book full of scandal. It was a story about a family who had their own demons to face and their journey as they struggled through those demons.