This story begins late one night. Kathryn is awaken by a knock on the door. It's Union man Robert Hart and he's there to inform her that the plane her husband Jack was piloting has exploded off the coast of Ireland and there are no survivors.
Kathryn is obviously quite devastated and tries to hold it together for the sake of her daughter, but it all gets even more difficult as investigators begin to suspect that Jack is responsible for the explosion and she finds out he had a secret life she knew nothing about. Of course, by the time the news media gets a hold of this information, it's total mayhem and Robert Hart extends his stay to help Kathryn deal with the ensuing drama.
Eventually, Robert and Kathryn grow close, and he even travels with her to England in a search for more answers to all the questions that Jack's death opened up. At first, this part kind of irritated me and I dismissed it as too predictable. But after some thought I can see how it could be possible to have feelings for someone who's helping you through this type of a situation. Plus, the relationship only goes so far, which I thought was realistic.
There were parts of this story that moved incredibly slowly, but I liked it. I felt as if I was there with Kathryn, experiencing her grief and anger along with her. Although this is total chick lit, I feel like all the emotions in the story are real and genuine and it never gets too mushy or saccharine sweet.
I suppose if I have one complaint, it's the theme of the story, which is a question that's asked throughout the book, "How well can we ever really know a person?" Kathryn answers this at the end of the book by dismissing her own naïveté and reasoning that someone who is "dedicated" to keeping secrets will cause "no suspicion, because they truly don't want to get caught." I don't necessarily agree and I think that kind of reasoning does a disservice to true partnerships and maybe gives people, not only an excuse to not fully get to know their partner but a cop out if something bad happens. I mean, if you reason that no matter what you do, you can't ever know someone, then what's the point of even trying?
Plus, I feel like there were a lot of red flags in Kathryn's marriage that she never picked up on. Her husband's past and childhood were secrets that he never really wanted to talk about, claiming them "too painful" to discuss. When he traveled overseas, she could never reach him but always had to wait for him to call her. These are things I would think wouldn't be issues after fifteen years of marriage.
I'm going to be completely honest, I wanted to hate this book. One being the damn Oprah sticker on the cover. For some reason, that's always a turn off. Then there's the whole plot, which just sounds soooo Lifetime. But I loved it. I loved the story and the characters, especially Robert. (Sigh. Is it possible to love a fictional character?) I was a little sad when the book ended. Because I wanted to keep this party going, I looked to see if there actually is a Lifetime movie based on it. There isn't. But there is a made-for-tv movie starring boring people I don't care about like Christine Lahti and Campbell Scott. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.