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A loving mother and wife, Annie O'Neill was the heart of the small community of Kiss River. But her generous nature hid a darker side that remained secret for years after her tragic death.
When Lacey O'Neill finally learns the shattering truth about the mother she's spent a decade emulating, the foundation of her life begins to crumble. Then her close childhood friend dies, leaving her teenage daughter, Mackenzie, in Lacey's care, and Lacey unwillingly finds herself in the role of mother.
Uprooted by her mother's death, Mackenzie resents her new home of Kiss River. She wants nothing to do with the father who never knew she existed—and especially not her mother's oldest friend. But the person who could understand her best might be the one she resents most: Lacey.
After a devastating hurricane hits the coast of North Carolina, Rebecca and Adam urge Maya to join them in the relief effort. To please her husband, Maya finally agrees. She loses herself in the care and transport of victims, but when her helicopter crashes into raging floodwaters, there appear to be no survivors.
Forced to accept Maya is gone, Rebecca and Adam turn to one another—first for comfort, then in passion—unaware that, miles from civilization, Maya is injured and trapped with strangers she's not certain she can trust. Away from the sister who has always been there to save her, now Maya must find the courage to save herself—unaware that the life she knew has changed forever.
Eight-year-old Sophie Donohue just wanted to be like every other little girl. Which is why her mother, Janine, reluctantly agreed to let her go on the weekend camping trip with her Brownie troop. But when Janine arrives to pick up Sophie after the trip, her daughter is not with the others. Somehow, along the forested route from West Virginia, Sophie has disappeared.
But Sophie is no ordinary eight-year-old. She suffers from a rare disease, and Janine has recently enrolled her in an experimental treatment as a last effort to save her life—despite the vehement objections of her ex-husband, Joe. Without her medication, Sophie cannot survive long. All her mother's instincts tell Janine that Sophie is alive, but time is running out.
Deep in the Virginia forest, another drama unfolds. Sophie finds refuge in a remote cabin inhabited by Zoe, a woman who wants nothing to do with the child. Zoe is struggling to save her own daughter from the law, and Sophie's presence jeopardizes any chance of that happening. She is as determined to save her daughter as Janine is to save Sophie…and only one of them can succeed.
Separated by a continent from her child, Gina Higgins comes to Kiss River with little more than a desperate plan. Now, saving her daughter depends on whether she can uncover a message buried deep below the ocean's surface.
Kiss River's historic nineteenth-century lighthouse has all but fallen into the sea, taking with it the huge Fresnel lens that once served as its beacon. Gina is desperate to find a way to raise the lens; the glass holds the key to her future, her fortune and her only chance to save the one person who matters to her.
Clay O'Neill lives in the old light keeper's house, a home he shares with his sister, Lacey. When Lacey invites her to stay with them, Gina eagerly accepts. As Gina begins her quest to raise the lens, Clay finds himself drawn to her struggle, and to Gina herself.
But the answers lie deep below the ocean. And the lighthouse holds secrets that neither Clay nor Gina can anticipate….
It's been more than forty years since that August night, but Julie's memories of her sister's death still shape her world. Now someone from her past is raising questions about what really happened that night. About Julie's own complicity. About a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. About the person who went to prison for Izzy's murder—and the person who didn't.
Faced with questions and armed with few answers, Julie must gather the courage to revisit her past and untangle the complex emotions that led to one unspeakable act of violence on the bay at midnight.
One afternoon, single mother Sara Weston says that she's going to the store—and never returns. In her absence, she leaves her teenage son alone with his damaged past and a legacy of secrets.
Keith Weston nearly lost his life in an act of arson. He survived—but with devastating physical and emotional scars. Without his mother, he has no one to help him heal, no money, nothing to live for but the medications that numb his pain. Isolated and angry, his hatred has one tight focus: his half sister, Maggie Lockwood.
Nineteen-year-old Maggie Lockwood spent a year in prison for the acts that led up to the fire. Now she's back home. But her release cannot free her from the burden of guilt she carries. She grew up with Keith Weston, played with him as a child…and recently learned they share the same father.
Now the person Keith despises most is the closest thing he has to family—until Sara returns. If Sara returns….
Now, twenty years later, Shelly has grown into an unusual, ethereal young woman whom Daria continues to protect. But when Rory Taylor, a friend from Daria's childhood and now a television producer, returns at Shelly's request to do a story about the circumstances surrounding her birth, something precarious shifts in the small town of Kill Devil Hills.
The more questions Rory asks, the more unsettled the tiny community becomes, as closely guarded secrets and the sins of that long-ago summer begin to surface. Piece by piece, the mystery of summer's child is being exposed, a mystery that no one involved—not Shelly, Daria, not even Rory—is prepared to face.
Fifteen-year-old Andy Lockwood is special. Others notice the way he blurts out anything that comes into his mind, how he cannot foresee consequences, that he's more child than teenager. But his mother sees a boy with a heart as open and wide as the ocean.
Laurel Lockwood lost her son once through neglect. She's spent the rest of her life determined to make up for her mistakes, and she's succeeded in becoming a committed, protective parent—maybe even overprotective. Still, she loosens her grip just enough to let Andy attend a local church social—a decision that terrifies her when the church is consumed by fire. But Andy survives…and remarkably, saves other children from the flames. Laurel watches as Andy basks in the role of unlikely hero and the world finally sees her Andy, the sweet boy she knows as well as her own heart.
But when the suspicion of arson is cast upon Andy, Laurel must ask herself how well she really knows her son…and how far she'll go to keep her promise to protect him forever.
Dr. Olivia Simon is on duty in the emergency room of North Carolina's Outer Banks Hospital when a gunshot victim is brought in. Midway through the desperate effort to save the young woman's life, Olivia realizes who she is—Annie O'Neill. The woman Olivia's husband, Paul, is in love with.
When Annie dies on the operating table, she leaves behind three other victims. Alec O'Neill, who thought he had the perfect marriage. Paul, whose fixation on Annie is unshakable. And Olivia, who is desperate to understand the woman who destroyed her marriage.
Now they are left with unanswered questions about who Annie really was. And about the secrets she kept hidden so well.
What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry…
The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life.
Yet there was so much they didn't know.
With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives—and the life of a desperate stranger—with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.
A beloved daughter. A devastating choice. And now there's no going back.
Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown made a choice: to raise his newborn daughter on his own. While most of his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home, changing diapers and worrying about keeping food on the table. But he's never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life. The reason behind every move he makes. And so far, she is fed. Cared for. Safe.
But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he's worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble….
Then a miracle. A job in Raleigh has the power to turn their fortunes around. It has to. But when Travis arrives in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions.
With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter's sake.
Even if it means he might lose her.
After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother's aging, her sister's mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.
When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County's newest social worker, she doesn't realize just how much her help is needed. She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband. But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong.
Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it's wrong?