Oliver is only seven when his father announces the family will adopt a baby boy. But when Oliver's father suddenly dies, his mother finds she can no longer keep the baby and gives him away. It's now 21 years later and Mom is remarried to the next-door neighbor, and Oliver is obsessed with finding his "almost brother." While watching Jared, a young man believed to be the baby from years ago, Oliver meets and begins a relationship with Miranda, a quirky photographer who sends letters to strangers asking to take pictures of them in their homes. Oliver eventually confronts Jared with the adopted-brother theory and sets in motion events that will ultimately lead to unforeseen tragedy for Jared and Oliver's families. A pair of seemingly disconnected side stories that add to the somber mood of Mullins' novel eventually intertwine in odd and unexpected ways. In all, Mullins has created a bittersweet, poignant, and curious tale about how strangers can impact our lives, and how love and forgiveness have the power to renew.

© 2010 Meg Mullins