5 of 5 stars
When Cornelia receives the call that her mother has been injured in an accident, she decides to return to her childhood home in Virginia to help her parents. They need her and it seems like the perfect way to get a little distance so that she can figure out how to deal with the emotional fallout of a recent traumatic experience with her children that left her struggling with guilt and recrimination.
Once in Virginia, she discovers that her mom, Ellie, who is suffering from periods of dementia, seems to be struggling with her own emotional fallout from long ago. When Ellie asks Cornelia to bring her the northern lights, Cornelia promises to bring them, not knowing or understanding what her mother is asking, just determined to figure it out and bring her mom some peace.
As her mother recovers, Cornelia begins a search for clues and discovers a tiny painting of the lights tucked away in her mother’s calendar. As she continues her search for information, her mother’s story begins to come into focus, setting the stage for the closure that her mom needs.
Embedded in this wonderful tale of family is a clear understanding of how even the stories that we do not know have an effect on who we are. Somehow, Marisa de los Santos has given us a true mystery, with fascinating twists, and a wonderful story of people who could be us. People who love, make mistakes, and grow.
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