Ruth Livingstone's life changes drastically the day her father puts a young child in her arms and sends her to a small village in New Jersey under an assumed name. There Ruth pretends to be a widow and quietly secludes herself until her father is acquitted of a crime. But with the emergence of the penny press, the imagination of the reading public is stirred, and her father's trial stands center stage. Asher Tripp is the brash newspaperman who determines that this case is the event he can use to redeem himself as a journalist.
Ruth finds solace tending a garden along the banks of the Toms River--a place where she can find a measure of peace in the midst of the sorrow that continues to build. It is also here that Asher Tripp finds a temporary residence, all in an attempt to discover if the lovely creature known as Widow Malloy is truly Ruth Livingstone, the woman every newspaper has been looking for. Love begins to slowly bloom...but is the affection they share strong enough to withstand the secrets that separate them?
My Overall Feeling of the Book:
From the beginning of the book I was drawn into the mystery surrounding the reasons why Ruth's father sent her away with a moment's notice with a stranger's baby. I'm not sure I would have blindly obeyed as she did. lol
I was intrigued by Tripp's disguise as he tried to hide his true identity. I love how his character grew and his priorities changed throughout the book.
My Favorite Character:
I think Ruth and Tripp probably tied for my favorite character spot. Most of all, I liked "them" together.
My Favorite Scene:
My favorite scene is when Lily, the baby, decides she is going to take a "big bath" in the river. Of course, Tripp comes to the rescue but has to pretend to be crippled as he does it.
My Favorite Sentence/Paragraph:
Ruth rushed into the water and tried to get her daughter, but dropped her hands. "I can't reach her. Could you please take her to shore an dlife her down from me?"
He shook his head, which made Lily squel again and tug another lock of his hair. "I can't. My back...just locked up again. I can't take another step or even lift my arms over my head. Try again."
Lily's "Big Bath" scene. Page 101
It Would Have Been Better If:
I am ashamed to admit that my cynical mind even started to believe that Ruth's father wasn't the upright minister that Ruth believed him to be. I was fully prepared to find out that he was, infact, involved in shady dealings. I guess I just wish I wasn't so cynical. The suspense of the story was very well written and I was ready to expect anything.
I Would Recommend This Book To:
Those with toddlers, gardeners, small-town dwellers, small business owners, journalists, news buffs, matchmakers and those who support good causes.