Kara and Lizzie Holbrooke are the twin little girls of son of millionaire, Jack Holbrooke. In a display of contempt for his father’s legacy, Jack insists that his father give his piece of the inheritance to Christian charities. Jack is a widower and meets Amanda. He falls in love and they marry. Amanda can’t have children. She is delighted to be the step-mother to Kara and Lizzie. But life doesn’t always work out the way we plan.
Jack and his parents die in a plane crash. Amanda loses both her father and those children during court precedings as the inheritance creates more problems and distractions. Lizzie and Kara are forced to live with two fortune-hunting relatives from their mother’s family, while Amanda takes over the family corporation to take care of Lizzy and Kara’s legacy. Amanda pursues them throughout their life, praying for them, and taking care of them when they get into trouble.
Blackstock tells the tale via Kara, the more cyncial of the two twins. In a truly poignant moment, Kara says:
“I sometimes try to remember back to the days before we were three, but my memories are tainted with the lies I’ve been taught and the pictures I’ve seen. I can’t quite sift out real recollections from my faulty assumptions, but I do know that the things I’ve laid out here are true. Not because I remember them, but because I’ve studied all the sides, heard all the tales, read all the reports…and a few things have emerged with absolute clarity.” - 2% into the novel.
Then, Kara begins the tale backwards. It’s Kara’s voice throughout the story, but it’s an omniscient point of view as we know both Amanda and Jack’s thoughts and motivations when they first meet before it changes and becomes solely Kara’s point of view after they are taken from Amanda.
Kara and Lizzie’s minds are poisoned by their grandparents as the grandparents work to control them. The grandparents burn through the yearly court settlement with the intentions of taking everything from Amanda when the children are of age to pursue the whole inheritance that will have tripled in worth. While Lizzie reaches out for light, Kara clings to the dark because it’s familiar.
At eighteen, Amanda returns and like the story of the prodigal son, Lizzie goes with Amanda while Kara sells a piece of her dad’s legacy at a pawn shop. It’s a story both gruesome and haunting in details as it takes us into the reality of the twins life from the threat of molestation to abortion. I’ve never read a Blackstock novel quite like this one.
I gave it five stars.