Alice's final wish is for Lucy to move back to Door County, Wisconsin, and stay in the family cottage for eight weeks or the estate goes to charity. Lucy is not happy about this because she has to choose between her dream job in DC or honoring her sister's dying wish.
Moving back home is hard for Lucy because of the memories of her parents' derisiveness towards her after the accident that left her sister Alice brain damaged. Lucy cannot believe all the new sides of Alice that she never knew before. Alice's friends are not happy with Lucy because they know how badly Alice wanted Lucy to come home for Christmas year after year. Alice had a lot more interesting and busy life than Lucy ever imaged.
Delving back into the past and reliving everything that led up to Lucy's leaving home, helps her to realize all she has missed of her hometown. She has to stay until after Christmas so she starts going through Alice's things to find out more about her recent life. Lucy finds drawings and quilts that no one, not even her closest friends, had ever seen before.
Alice's lawyer is a born and stayed Door County resident. Peter Swenson was a boy Lucy had a crush on in high school and she can't believe the man he has become. There are still some old feelings stirring between the two of them but Lucy knows she won't be staying longer than necessary to fulfill the will, so she won't get close to him.
Lucy gets to know Alice's closest friends and as they take her into their fold, Lucy finds out what kind of life Alice had and how she enjoyed it. Lucy being the younger sister and never being the favorite of her dad's, knows nothing of the good times that she can remember.
The odd thing about this book is it is set in 2016. The story is one of past mistakes and old sores that just won't heal. It's about the second daughter who was never good enough in her father's eyes, who left all her family behind to try and find a place she could feel like she belonged. Coming home is not always the easiest thing to do, but coming home to find the memories that you have are not the way it really was, is even worse. I could feel Lucy's pain, both in not coming home sooner to know who Alice has become, and not having anyone left to ask questions of because Lucy is now an orphan.
I am happy to give this book 5 Blue Ribbons on Romance Junkies' website because all the words and thoughts that have come from this story have made me stop and think about how life is fleeting and may never be what you thought it was in your mind.