By Sherri Wood Emmons
Emma is a young woman who is overcoming a troubled past. While working at a ranch in Idaho she meets seasonal worker Brannon Bohner. Brannon is the single father of eleven year old Jenny. Emma falls for Brannon and cares about Jenny, too.
Jenny is happy to have Emma as part of their life. She is hoping that this time she will have a real mother. Jenny doesn’t really remember her mother. She does remember the succession of women over the years, though. Each woman took her mother’s place, if just for a while.
Brannon and Jenny never stay in one place for very long. They travel back and forth across the country, as Brannon finds seasonal work along the way. As the ranch season in Idaho closes, Brannon talks Emma into moving on to Kentucky with him and Jenny.
Finally settling into a permanent home, school, and life with friends, Jenny holds out hope they will finally be a real family. Indeed, everything seems to be going well until Brannon begins to have sudden mood swings. Emma struggles to understand Brannon while protecting herself, and Jenny, too.
However, everything that Jenny thought she knew comes into question when she finds a box of her father’s mementoes up in the attic. She starts to question her own memories as she curiously sorts through the items. At first hiding them, she tries to figure out their importance. But as she comes to frightening conclusions, Jenny finally shares her finds with Emma. They both know that nothing will ever be the same for anyone.
This is an amazing novel of relationships, both those we choose and those we are born into. Ms. Wood has a special understanding of family dynamics, particularly the mother-daughter bond. This suspenseful novel is gripping and heartrending. It will make you feel, as well as think.
I highly recommend The Seventh Mother. Sherri Wood Emmons books are intimate and engaging. The stories stay with you long after you finish the book. I have been a serious fan since the release of her first book, Prayers and Lies. I eagerly look forward to her future books, as well.
P.S. Watch for a cat named McGuffy.