In the aftermath of tragedy, life goes on - painful and forever altered, but ripe with new beginnings. For Julie Holt, travelling to the beautiful but ravaged coast of Biloxi, Mississippi, is a journey into a secret past, and a life she never expected....
Julie first knew loss at the age of 12, when her sister disappeared, never to be found. As her once close-knit family grew apart, Julie's mother obsessively searched for the girl, and when her mother died, Julie took up the search, never letting go of the hope. Then, at an art exhibition in New York, she meets Monica - a struggling artist and single mother who reminds Julie so much of her sister that she can't help feeling drawn to her: Monica paints a vivid picture of her family, but never says why or how she lost contact with them. And she has another secret: a heart condition that will soon take her life.
When Monica dies, Julie inherits from her an antique portrait - as well as custody of her young son. Taking him back to Biloxi and New Orleans to see the family he has never met, Julie discovers a connection of her own. The portrait, of an old relative, was done by her great-grandfather - and unlocks a family history she never knew.
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