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Tangled Lives by Hilary Boyd

Tangled Lives

by Hilary Boyd

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3.5 stars Reviewed by IvyD for Miss Ivy's Book Nook
Annie Delancey has the perfect life. A successful business she built from the ground up doing something she loves, a supportive and loving husband, and three children navigating young adulthood. When she receives a letter from Kent Social Services her perfect life will be challenged by a secret she’s kept from her children; thirty-five years ago an unwed Annie gave her first born son up for adoption.

Annie told her husband, Richard, about Daniel prior to their marriage but the time had never seemed right to tell her children, Ed, Marsha, and Lucy. Now Daniel wants to connect with his birth mother leaving Annie no choice but to reveal her past to her children. After all, not a day has gone by that she hasn’t thought of him, wondered what he was like, if she’d done the right thing and had his adoptive parents loved him. Now she can meet the man the baby grew to be, discover the answer to all her questions, and ease her mind.

TANGLED LIVES, though not quite what I expected, was an emotionally realistic story about secrets, adoption, and complicated familial relationships. The upheaval caused by Daniel’s introduction into Annie’s family rings true. Ms. Boyd tells Daniel and the Delancey’s story in a way that allows the reader to see the effect on each person. No family member, with the possible exception of Annie’s mother, Eleanor, is left unscathed. You have to meet Eleanor to understand why. Can’t say I found her likeable, more someone you respect and begrudgingly admire for their accomplishments.

While others question if Daniel is who he says he is, Annie never does, especially after meeting him. What she does struggle with is why Richard can’t understand how important connecting with Daniel is to her. Annie understands Ed’s jealousy, after all it was to be expected, but what on earth is wrong with Richard? Surely he isn’t jealous of Daniel?

When a shocking accusation calls Daniel’s character and motives into question Annie’s familial relationships are strained to the breaking point by her unwavering support of him. Some family members question her decision. Why is she taking his side? Does she have any doubts about his version of events? How can she trust Daniel when she actually knows so little about him? Marjory (also known as Aunt Best) is Annie’s friend and owner of the unwed mother’s home she lived in. Marjory is the grounded voice of reason and wisdom throughout. Her willingness to speak the truth, no matter what, made her a favorite character.

The Delancey’s love and faith in each other will be tested via trial by fire. Will they survive intact or will Daniel and the chaos he brings tear their family apart? You’ll have to read TANGLED LIVES for yourself to find out. ( )
  ivydtruitt | Aug 14, 2014 |
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For my mother, Peggy Sandeman-Allen. I still miss you.
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Kent, 1967 "It's time."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Annie Delancey is happily married, in her early 50s, with three grown children. But Annie guards a dark secret. At age 18 she had a baby boy, and gave him up for adoption. She still thinks of him every day. Then, out of the blue, she receives an official-looking letter from Kent Social Services. Her son, Daniel, wants to make contact. On one hand she is overjoyed she longs to meet him. On the other, she has never told her children that they have another sibling. Tangled Lives follows the effect this revelation has on her family, as, with Daniel as the catalyst, a few small tears in the family fabric suddenly gape wide.… (more)

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