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After losing her son in an elementary school shooting that devastates the tight-knit community of Stillwater Bay, Jennifer Crowne finds herself unable to settle back into her role of perfect stay-at-home mom and committee organizer. Meanwhile, her best friend, Mayor Charlotte Stone, struggles to keep the town together, and Charlotte’s husband, the school principal, may not be the hero everyone thinks him to be.
As they try to heal from this irrevocable trauma, Jenn and Charlotte find themselves at a crossroads—within the town and within their friendship. For Jenn, broken and grieving, there is no going back, and she demands that the school be closed so that she can bury the past. Yet Charlotte is equally desperate to hold the town together, fighting the school closure and helping the shooter’s mother regain her place in the community. Jenn and Charlotte’s relationship is put to the ultimate test as each weighs her own interests against the bonds of their friendship.
the properties that needed to be trimmed, and stepped into Julia’s tiny oasis. With large hedges all around, Charlotte was thankful that at least this part hadn’t been touched. There were two white wicker chairs in the middle of the yard and some small flower beds that still held blooms. A small table between the chairs held a partially empty coffee cup and a ball of yarn with two needles sticking out of it. A soft smile spread across Charlotte’s face. Knowing that Julia wasn’t holed up in
brown housecoat around her body and waited for the flow of the coffeepot to slow enough for her to fill her mug. The drip of each drop into the pot of liquid rang in her ears, along with the steady tick of their old grandfather clock down the hall. Every small sound intensified against the morbid stillness in the house, a facade that ate her insides every second there was no noise, no laughter. She leaned down, planted her elbows on the wood block of her island, and stared out their large bay
maintenance manager and see if they know anything.” He turned the car over in his hands. “The question, though, is what do we do with these?” “They’re on every grave, Robert. Of all those who died with Bobby.” Robert’s head shot up, and he looked around. He stood and turned, not saying anything as he looked around them. “All of them?” Jenn nodded. Robert sat back down on the bench and sighed. He rubbed his chin but didn’t say anything. Jenn made a mental note to ask Charlotte
brother decided to ignore my requests for help when things broke down in my shop.” “That’s why you call someone for help.” “I did.” Anne Marie stuck her tongue out at him. “A professional.” Robert shook his head in disgust and turned his back on her. “I thought you were. At least, that’s what you claim to be on your business cards.” Robert rolled his eyes and stared up into the sky. Jenn knew what he was doing. He was mentally counting to ten. Jenn set her bags down and
had been destroyed. How did she fix this? How could she face Julia again? Look her in the eye and pretend everything was normal between them, that she didn’t know of the secret between her and Jordan? When Charlotte emerged from the shower, Jordan was still there, in the chair, waiting for her. “All right, Jordan. You want to talk. You want me to open up and tell you how I’m feeling, is that right?” With her back turned toward him, she donned a sundress, pulled her hair back in a