Tuesday, December 4, 2018

When Never Comes, by Barbara Davis (author), Shannon McManus (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, May 2018

Christy-Lynn Parker was the daughter of an addict, who coped as best she could, until finally her mother went to jail, and Christy-Lynn went to foster care.

When that was worse, she ran away.

But she worked and pursued her own goals as she always had. Working as an editor, she met, and married, crime fiction writer Stephen Ludlow. It was, or seemed, a safe haven, until the night Stephen skidded off a bridge into Echo Bay, with a half-naked young woman in the car with him.

Christine Ludlow needs to remake her life again. In Sweetwater, Virginia, she makes a start.

But Christy-Lynn is still carrying a lot of baggage she doesn't recognize or completely remember, and there are also things she doesn't yet know about Stephen and the young woman, Honey Rawlings, who died with him.

As she starts to build a new life, she's rocked by the discovery that Stephen and Honey had a child, Iris, just three years old, and living with her ailing, octogenarian  great-grandmother. They're living in poverty, but worse than that, when the old woman does die, there's no on to take Iris. She'll be swallowed up by the foster care system.

As Christy-Lynn was.

She can't imagine letting that happen.

She can't imagine opening herself up to the possibility of being hurt again. She has difficulty even opening up to her new friends.

This is a painful and engrossing look at a woman trying to rebuild, after a lifetime of pain, the discovery that she didn't even really know her husband, and return of the memories from her younger years. What's especially painful is that she blames herself for all of it. For not being a good enough wife. For not being a good enough daughter. For having, she thinks, nothing to offer the new people in her life.

It's human and painful and completely compelling.

The narrator is also quite good, with a strong, flexible voice that's easy to listen to.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.