“It’s a choice I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy,” remarks Ellen’s attorney. Ellen Gleeson is a Philadelphia journalist who, two years ago, adopted a toddler through legal channels. It’s been a good fit, and while she’s still single, she loves her family life. One morning, a “have you seen this child?” flyer arrives in the mail, and the missing little boy bears a remarkable resemblance to Ellen’s own Will. Startled, Ellen can’t get that picture out of her mind, and begins to worry that his adoption might have occurred under false circumstances. Ellen puts the rest of her life on hold, and, using her investigation skills, sets off on a quest for the truth of Will’s birth.
The anxiety in this novel is palpable and pervasive, author Scottoline having done a masterful job at conveying the mental state of her heroine and the tension between what one wants and what is right. At times, the story dips into the realm of romance and relies upon dumb luck, but it certainly introduces its readers to the maze that is the world of adoption. The best interests of the child, and the letter of the law are quite often two entirely different things.