The instant #1 New York Times bestselling mystery and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick that’s captivated more than a million readers about a woman searching for the truth about her husband’s disappearance…at any cost.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.
As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.
Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.
I listened to that book in a record time, wanting to unravel the mystery of Owen’s disappearance and hoping that Hannah would find him again, her soulmate.
This is part mystery/thriller and part romance story or rather, the story of a great love that Hannah and Owen found in their forties, got to savor for more than one year before everything fell apart.
Hannah is a woodturner, in her forties, never hoping to marry one day when she meets kind and smart Owen.
After a whirlwind romance, she’ll fly to Sausalito to live with him and his teenage daughter on a boat, enjoying a deep love, even with surly Bailey.
But one day, Owen does not come back home. He just sends Hannah a note with the cryptic “protect her” on it.
When Hannah learns that Owen’s employer is going behind bars for a huge scam, questions arise.
Was Owen complicit? She can’t believe it.
But then, why did he ran away?
Why is he asking her to protect his daughter Bailey? Against what?
And when a Texas marshal will come visit her, Hannah will feel deep in her bones that Owen has other problems, past problems he is running from.
Determined to find answers, she leaves for Austin, Texas with Bailey, both equally driven, both determined to find the truth.
I found that book a very solid read with a good plot, well fleshed characters and a steady pace. I deeply connected with Hannah and Bailey.
I tried to guess all along what happened to Owen, what hid in Bailey’s past and why that US marshal was so determined that Hannah “stay put”. Was the truth so dangerous?
We alternate between present and past, the past showing us Hannah and Owen’s love story. Their love was so beautiful, their connection felt so right that I couldn’t help but wish for a happy ending. Instead we got a bittersweet ending, probably my only regret about the book.
If you are considering the audiobook, I think that Rebecca Lowman did a good job narrating that story!
And last word, I’ll certainly keep looking for other books from Laura Dave!
Thanks for reading.