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The Bend in Redwood Road
by Danielle Stewart
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Most days it's manageable. No more than a quiet wondering around the edges of her mind. What has become of the baby she left behind? Smiling through the pain and suffering in silence, Leslie Laudon marches forward. Embracing the life skillfully designed by her husband Paul. Living right could be penance for an impossible choice made with an uneasy heart. Dutiful and anchoring, Leslie poured herself into her other children. Nurturing them through infancy, protecting them as toddlers, guiding them as teens. As her youngest child heads off to college with her suitcases and coordinating dorm room accessories, so goes Leslie’s identity. The chaotic life of a busy working mother threatens to become dangerously quiet. Quiet enough to hear the voices she’s tried to silence for decades.
Gwen Fox was adopted by two perfect people. Noel and Millie have always treated her the same as their two biological sons. Her parents love is strong and unwavering, yet a soul-deep ache still lingers. Plagued by an unnamed, hard to explain, longing Gwen could never shake. Riddled with doubt and dragged down by the undertow of unanswered questions, Leslie and Gwen both find their lives suddenly upended. One seeks the truth about the day she was born. The other seeks herself, the woman she was before motherhood. Before she made a choice to leave a piece of her heart lying asleep in the hospital nursery.
In this complex journey for answers, blame is abundant. Guilt is thick enough to choke on. Marriages are brought to the brink of disaster. As the ripples of the past vibrate through their lives, Gwen and Leslie realize there is no turning back. What they have put into motion cannot be stopped. The road toward the truth will be littered with casualties.
“You will not be disappointed if you take a journey around The Bend in Redwood Road. You will hang on every word wondering if resolution will be possible” Michele, 5 stars
"Stewart has a knack for creating rich, complicated characters. One standout is Leslie's daughter, Kerry, who is defiantly vocal about the issues within her family and laudably supportive of her mother. The author treads carefully around the subject of adoption, respectfully noting systematic issues while preserving the emotional complexities of Gwen's experience. Another intriguing feature is the romantic subplot" - Kirkus Reviews