Caleb is back. He was kidnapped after his eleventh birthday. Now he's home as a fourteen-year-old and carrying all the emotional baggage of his capture and mistreatment. His family is thrilled to have him back, but the stresses they've experienced during his absence are exacerbated by the return. The parents have difficulty connecting with each other. Caleb finds it impossible to talk about his ordeal, and the reporters won't leave the family alone. They are in a state of seige in their own home.
To break away and start over, Marlene, the mother, decides on her own to move the children to Costa Rica where her husband's mother lives in a run down hotel in the cloud forest. Although the family has left their old home behind, they can't run away from the emotional trauma that divides them. Caleb, particularly has trouble adjusting. He had formed a loving relationship with Jolly, the man who rescued him from the abusive pedophile who kidnapped him, but it isn't a healthy bond.
This is a book filled with pain. The characters have been through a devastating experience and are trying to come to terms with it. The three years spent searching for Caleb effectively tore the family apart, and they seem unable to come together again. Although they feel it's a miracle Caleb is back, his return from the horrible experiences of his kidnapping are as hard for the family to deal with as his absence.
This is not an easy book to read. The author has captured the tortured emotions of the estranged parents extremely well, so well in fact that the scenes in the book are very painful. The content, which focuses on pedophilia, is likewise difficult to read. If you choose to read this book, be prepared for a wrenching experience.
I reviewed this book for NetGalley.