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Publishers WeeklyForkner's debut novel about family secrets never quite gets off the ground. When Ruby DiCamillo dies unexpectedly from asthma, her eight-year-old daughter Lucy blames herself for not reaching her mother's inhaler in time. As she grows into a young woman, her grandmother Kitty overprotects her, filling her life with art, music and schoolwork but leaving wide gaps in her knowledge of family history. When Lucy insists on learning about her heritage, the secrets are as complicated as her grandmother's intricate quilts. Fortner struggles with creating successful flashbacks, and the pacing drags. In several places the plot takes a contrived twist (a photo conveniently falling out of an album, a chance meeting in a coffee shop) in order to move forward. Most difficult to believe is that the key tragedy that has shaped the family's history has kept Lucy's grandmother estranged from her family for so long. However, Fortner creates some memorable descriptions, and readers of faith should appreciate the strong Christian themes of this novel and its redemptive ending.
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