This series is the spin-off of my Sister Series. It is about the daughters of Jessie and Will Hendricks. Their story was told in The Other Sister and The Years Between. It is not necessary to read those before reading any of the daughters stories.
How does a mother make sure her secrets doesn’t define the lives of her daughters?
At the age of sixteen Jessie’s life was ruined when she became a pawn in her father’s sick plans. She finally finds emotional and mental health in her twenties with the help of her husband Will Hendricks. In later years her daughters make up for much of the pain her life has given her. But how does she stop the sins and secrets of her past from getting passed down to them? How does she even have the conversation that explains how she met their father? The one thing Jessie knows is that whatever they face she will give them the unconditional love and understanding that she was without, so that they can eventually fulfill their own dreams and find the lives they each deserve.
Meet Jessie’s daughters….
My entire life I’ve lived with shadows lurking behind what otherwise appears like the perfect family. My mother often disappears into her bedroom for days at a time because her life becomes too much to deal with. I never understood it. I know our family has secrets. I hear the whispers and innuendos. But no one wants me to know the truth.
The thing is: I’m not a little girl anymore. I’m tired of not being told. I must seek the answers and discoveries that will change my life and the relationship I have with my family, possibly forever. I soon learn: there is another daughter. The betrayal I feel from having to learn that on my own sends me running off to find her, no matter how much my parents, and Max, discourage me. I’m tired of all the lies. I can’t do it anymore, and I won’t.
My best friend since my early teens is Max Salazar. He’s my cousin by adoption, and best friend in the world, even if lately, he has been acting like anything but family. He is often in trouble so I’m always trying to bail him out. But this time, I get in way too far over my head and there’s only Max to turn to. Max, however, refuses to accept my comfort. How can I think about caring for someone who can’t even stand my touch?
My life hasn’t been going well of late. Recently contacted by a girl who claims to be my sister, I’m now haunted by a family I never knew about, and swore to never associate with. After all, I was given away at birth; why should I care about anyone who would abandon me?
I’ve worked for years as a patrol cop, beating the streets of my hometown, of San Francisco until I learn my husband is cheating on me. The need to escape to a family who doesn’t really know me becomes the only viable solution; and one I never dreamed I’d pursue. But I must get out of this city, and now! I can’t stand to breathe the same air as Sam Ford.
Sam Ford. The sole ruler of my heart for decades. The day we got married, I thought I was starting the life of our dreams forever, even if we struggled to start a family, I believed we loved each other enough to survive anything… but apparently, not that. Sam managed to shatter my heart into a million pieces, and I’m not sure it can ever be glued back together again, no matter who attempts to.
I’m pretty sure I’m adopted, no matter how many times my parents claim otherwise. My sisters are smart, successful and athletic. Me? Not so much. I can’t concentrate; and I can’t perform well in school or on a job. I’m pretty sure I’m not even all that smart. I really don’t know exactly what is wrong with me, but something definitely is. Everything is unsettled inside my head while all my sisters seem to have everything all figured out.
I’m pretty sure I’m the black sheep of the family.
Seth Gifford, on the other hand, is quiet and bookish, the complete opposite of me. The son of my mom’s best friend, he is staying with us while attending college here. That means he lives with me. He’s well liked by everyone except me. Trapped in close proximity, I start to see him in a new light and eventually begin to care about what he thinks of my crazy ways. Until then, however, no one’s opinion can influence me. Maybe, just maybe, I finally want to impress someone. But now I can only wonder how to make him see me. I’ve always suspected the tragedy of my life is: there really isn’t anything of value inside me.
I have things I want to do in the future that don’t begin and end in Ellensburg, Washington where I was born, raised, and doomed to live out the rest of my life. My whole existence is already set and planned, right up until the exact moment when I’m to walk down the aisle. But I run. I flee and hide in a car, which is how I first meet Ramiro Vasquez. Now he’s the only one I’m willing to trust and be honest with.
Having just graduated from college with a journalism major, I know how to tell other people’s stories, but the one I want to tell most of all is my mother’s. With nothing to go on and even less information, the more I inquire about it, the less she’s willing to share. My parents would lock me in my room if they suspected what I really want to do. Which is why I’ve never done it. And also why I almost abandoned my dreams by marrying the wrong man.
Perhaps now, my family’s wishes will no longer stop me. I am beginning to understand some of Ramiro’s secrets, which bind his family to mine. But the greatest, harshest lesson of my life might still be ahead of me when I realize that sometimes, the past is never really dead. Now and then, the past can manage to destroy you and the ones you love the most. No matter how much you try to stop or avoid it, and don’t mean to hurt anyone, sometimes, nothing can undo the damage after it’s already been unwittingly unleashed.