I have a comment more than a question: for someone who’s an only child, I think you captured the “sibling scene” VERY well. Translation: you’re a great writer.
I was estranged from my sis a few months (and have several times over my life). It would’ve been tuff reading your book if we weren’t speaking. I think everything you wrote was so relatable as a sibling.
The end of the books begs for a sequel. Is that a possibility?
I loved your book, but I was completely in love with the last third of it, from when they visit Buck until the end. That section was very well written. TY!
Why does the whole family seem to believe physical distance is the best choice
Thanks for the question, Janice. Natalie’s mother suggested that she go far away to college, and it was what the mother thought was a good decision at the time—but it wasn’t necessarily the right one. But these siblings correct that by the end of the book.
I think it very irresponsible in the book that there would even be a question of not calling the cops in the first situation and in the second with the spousal abuse. Your book seems to promote NOT doing the right thing. I know that is the reality of the world, but should have been brought out more that Natalie was ALWAYS in the right to have called the cops. Sure there are some cases where the cops over react etc. But in both these cases never should there have been a question that the cops should have been called immediately.
What was the thought process behind including so many references to dead animals? Between the dead animals that the cat brought around, the animals in the lab, the missing cat and the missing brother, I thought the brothers absence was going to be more malicious than just needing space. Was that foreboding intentional?
Thanks for your question, Merinda. Death plays a huge role in the book. Reacting to it is something the Walker siblings weren’t able to do well when they were young, but it still plays a part in life. Death offers them all additional ways to heal.
Why don’t the siblings ever try to communicate with each other as adults?
Will there be a sequel?
No sequel is planned at this time, but sometimes I love thinking about what else these characters might do in their lives!
I would ask, what led you to go with those professions? Like, Lynn work at the funeral home, Natalie sketches dead animals and the other biology types professions. Those are rarely mentioned professions.
I am fascinated by funerary professions and have done a lot of reading on them. The people who work in funerary services are by far incredibly compassionate and loving. For scientific illustration, I think I secretly wish I did that. The detail and patience involved makes for beautiful art. 🙂 Thanks for your question, Angelina!
I like that you mentioned people in these professions being loving and compassionate. This view adds to the character of Lynn having those qualities. It shows why she forgave Natalie. As well as why she stayed with an abusive husband. She must have felt something for him, why she stayed so long..
Why not you decide to include the scene where Lynn comes home soaked in the body fluids of a corpse?
To me, this scene shows how tough Lynn is. She’s been through a lot in life: she lost her dad at a young age, her mother was emotionally distant, she was the middle child, and she went to prison right when she should have been starting college and beginning her adult life. Then she gets out of prison and gets together with a terrible guy. Through it all, Lynn has soldiered through as best she can. That scene was about everyone else’s reaction to an outrageous situation, but to Lynn it was another day.
Thank you for your clarification. That was an interesting way of portraying Lynn.
Correction: Why did you decide to include the scene where Lynn comes home soaked in the body fluids of a corpse?
When is your next book coming out? Will there be s sequel? Bravo Sierra👏👏👩
Thank you Elizabeth! My next book is called The Second Chance Hotel and it’s set in a Greece. It comes out September 12, 2023.
Why did you never have the character told that her siblings should not have been doing heroin in the first place? That she was justified in calling the police and may have prevented them from having worse lives as addicts? That seems like a burden that could have been lifted from the reader.
Leah, I also questioned that. I felt that Natalie could have also saved Her siblings from a worse future of drug addiction I thought for sure her siblings would have thanked her. They were doing heroin that is a very serious drug.
I do realize that Jake did say that prison did refocus him so in a way he did thank Natalie.
I think there were a few different things going on with Natalie that night. She was upset at her own teenage drama happening, which caused a more emotional reaction to her siblings, especially when she didn’t get what she was expecting from them. It was a spiral of bad decisions. Thanks for your question!
Why is the cat missing for most of the book?
This is a great question! Penguin isn’t just Natalie’s cat— he represents home and comfort. He knows what he wants and where to get it. By spending his time away from Natalie, but in the house, he reflects her attempts at fitting back in and reconnecting with home and family. He doesn’t show up again until Natalie has reconciled with those elements.
I’m not the author obv, but I think for a few reasons. One because he was going into that secret room and also as a way to prolong Natalie’s stay in Santa Cruz. Also maybe another way of showing Natalie that she belonged there, not Boston. Even her cat was happier there!
I would like to ask why is the narrative in third person and first person. I listened to the book and did not read the print Listening to the change in the narrative was a bit distracting
Which of the characters do you relate to most strongly and why?
This is a great question! I think there’s a little of Natalie in me: indecisive at times, yearning to fit in. However, I really gravitate toward Lynn for being so strong and determined.
Do you think the fact that one is estranged from family contributes to appreciating it more, or is just that we mature and value the closeness and support that the family can provide?
Thanks for the question, Rosalia! I think it depends on the nature of the estrangement and the bond someone has with family to begin with. In other words, I think a rock-solid foundation makes appreciating family even sweeter. But I also think that we let a lot of things go as we mature. If that foundation is still there, reconnecting is very special.
Thanks for asking, Kristen! At this time, no sequel is planned. But I think all three of the Walker siblings could have further stories to tell!
Yes. I’m sure each of them would have stories to tell about the next chapter of each of their life.
Great! You have made them wonderful characters !