More Than You Know

More Than You Know

by Nan Rossiter
More Than You Know

More Than You Know

by Nan Rossiter


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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. . . ""Nostalgic and tender. . .summons the pain of loss, the balm of sisterhood, and the unbreakable bonds of family that help us survive both."" --Marie Bostwick, New York Times bestselling author 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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780758283894
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

About The Author

Nan Rossiter was born in Mount Vernon, New York. She grew up in Pelham, New York, and in Barkhamsted, Connecticut. From a young age she loved to draw. After high school, she attended Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with a BFA in illustration. After working in the freelance field and creating art for internationally recognized companies such as Viking, MasterCard, and UPS, Nan began writing and illustrating books for children. She is the author-illustrator of several children's books, including, most recently, The Fo'c'sle: Henry Beston's "Outermost House." Nan lives in rural Connecticut with her husband and two handsome sons. When she's not working, she enjoys hiking with her family or reading a good book. Visit her website at

Read an Excerpt

More Than You Know



Copyright © 2013Nan Rossiter
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8389-4



Beryl Graham pulled on her North Face jacket and ran her fingers through her short dark hair as she walked around her pepper white Mini Cooper to open the passenger door for Flannery. The soulful old bulldog looked up at her and then eyed the distance to the ground warily. "C'mon, Flan-O, it's not that far. You can do it," she urged. The stout, short-legged dog edged cautiously to the door and tentatively reached her paw out over the gaping precipice before shaking her sloppy jowls and backing away. "It's not the Grand Canyon, you know!" Beryl teased affectionately, noticing that drool was now splattered across her dashboard. The homely face gazed at her forlornly and she couldn't help but laugh. "I know, I know, someday I'll be old and need help, too ... although, honestly, I think I'd rather leave this earth before I need help!" She reached around Flannery's barrel-shaped belly, scooped her up, and set her gently on the ground. Without looking back, the compact canine waddled off, sniffing the new dandelions sprouting up everywhere across her old stomping grounds.

Beryl watched her go and shook her head. She opened the trunk, pulled out two threadbare green bags, bulging with groceries, slung one over each shoulder, and then wedged the bag of Macintosh apples into the cardboard box from the package store. She hoped she'd remembered everything: two bottles of Toasted Head chardonnay for Isak, "and a Barefoot Pinot for good meshah," she murmured, mimicking her oldest sister's New England accent, and a bottle of Rex Goliath for Rumer. "The one with the roostah on it," Rumer had said, trying to trigger Beryl's memory; but when Beryl had stood in front of the red wines, she couldn't remember if Rumer had said Merlot or cabernet, so she'd finally decided on Free Range Red, knowing her organically minded middle sister would appreciate that the "roostah" had been allowed to wander.

Beryl hitched the box up into her arms, reached into the corner of the trunk for the small paper bag of beeswax candles and a fresh tin of English breakfast tea leaves, and tried to balance everything on her knee while she closed the trunk. "Not happening," she muttered. It didn't matter, she wasn't staying long. She just had to drop off the groceries, get Flan settled, and then head to Logan to pick up Rumer. She looked up at the old farmhouse full of memories. Its peeling white paint glowed in the melancholy light of late-afternoon sun, and its windows reflected the bright flames that were streaking across the azure sky. It looked as if an artist had dipped his brush in orangey pink water and swept it across the scene, washing it in the translucent warm hues of day's end, and then splashed bright, fiery orange on the windows. Beryl could almost hear her mom's soft, unassuming voice quoting one of her favorite writers: "The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode." Beryl smiled, remembering how much Mia had loved Thoreau—she even named her cat after him—and then her smile dissolved, remembering that she'd forgotten to feed the famous author's namesake who, after thirteen years, still presided over Mia's tea shop. Oh, well, poor Thoreau would just have to wait.

"Stay around, Flan-O," she called over her shoulder. The pudgy dog nosed around under the tire swing that hung from a majestic, old oak tree but didn't look up. "No deer poop!" she warned, but Flan didn't hear—or else chose to ignore her—because she suddenly began to gulp down the new delicacy she'd found. "Okay, if you must. But please don't roll in it!" As if on cue, Flannery fell on her fat side and began wriggling around in the tall grass. Beryl shook her head and looked up to heaven. "Mum," she implored, "could you please get your dog to behave?"

She set the box on one of the Adirondack chairs on the front porch and fished around in her pocket for the key. Finally, she pulled the entire contents out of her pocket and realized, in alarm, that she was still carrying around her mom's wedding rings. She slipped them on her finger, found the key, unlocked the door, picked up the box, and went inside. Setting everything on the old Formica table in the kitchen, she took off her jacket, threw it over a chair, and opened the fridge. When the light didn't come on, she had a sinking feeling the power was out; then she remembered that she'd unplugged it after she'd helped her mom move into the nursing home.

Mia had just turned sixty-six when Beryl began to suspect that something was wrong. Initially, she told herself that her mom was just getting forgetful—perfectly normal for someone her age. But when she started having trouble remembering the names of people she'd known all her life and forgetting to take inventory and place orders—tasks that were necessary to keep her tea shop running smoothly—Beryl began to wonder if it was something more. She and her sisters had grown up working beside their mom at her shop, Tranquility in a Teapot, and at first, she tried reminding her mom what tasks needed to be done, but when that didn't seem to help, she just started doing the chores herself. She also began paying closer attention when Mia was helping customers and soon realized she was having trouble recalling where items were stocked on the shelves. It's so unlike her, she'd thought, Mum knows this shop inside out. But it wasn't until Beryl stopped by the house one evening after work that she'd really begun to worry.

As soon as she walked in, the smell of gas almost knocked her over. She rushed to the kitchen and found the oven on and a pilot light out! She immediately turned off the oven and pushed open the windows, but her mom, sitting in the next room, was completely unaware of the danger and only said that she thought something smelled funny. Later that night, Beryl called Rumer at home in Montana and mentioned the incident, and by the next morning, Isak was calling from California with the name of a neurologist. Beryl said she was sure old Dr. Hamilton could diagnosis the problem, but Isak had insisted Mia see a specialist, so three weeks later, on a bright blue sky September morning, Beryl had taken Mia to Boston.

They'd arrived early, hoping to have lunch in Quincy Market, and after perusing the menus of several outdoor cafés, they picked a sunny table and ordered Waldorf salads, mint iced tea, and a slice of peach raspberry pie to share. Afterward, they happily discovered that they still had time to look around in the shops. In one boutique, Mia had found a lovely silk scarf for Isak; at an outdoor stand, she'd purchased a pair of beautiful turquoise earrings for Rumer; and finally, in a little bookstore at the end of the building, aptly named The Bookend, she'd discreetly tucked away a small package for Beryl. Then she'd happily declared, "I've officially started my Christmas shopping. I only hope I can remember where I've put these things when Christmas gets here."

"Don't worry, Mum," Beryl had said, putting her arm around her, "I'll remind you." As they'd turned to go, Mia bumped into a display of books, sending a whole stack tumbling to the floor, but when they knelt to pick them up, a friendly voice called, "Don't worry. It's my fault. I knew they were too close to the counter."

Beryl stood up, balancing the books in her arms, and when she saw the source of the voice, her face lit up. "Micah?"

A slender man peered at her over round horn-rimmed glasses, looking puzzled, and then smiled shyly. "Beryl!" He looked over her shoulder and saw Mia too. "And Mrs. Graham!" Happily surprised, he came around the counter to give them each a hug. Beryl hugged him back warmly, but Mia pulled away, looking startled and confused.

Beryl quickly came to her rescue. "Mum, y

Excerpted from More Than You Know by NAN ROSSITER. Copyright © 2013 by Nan Rossiter. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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