Jonathan “Buddy” Cordova is a small time criminal defense lawyer living paycheck to paycheck and practicing law out of his house in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He likes to think of himself as a modern day Atticus Finch, the kind of attorney who represents the poor, the indigent, the “probably guilty,” the kinds of clients who usually end up in jail. Shy, painfully awkward around pretty women, and carrying his own dark secret, Buddy falls for the daily jogger - Julie Saint, a part time Kindergarten teacher and Army widow with a little girl named Molly. Consumed with love for his ready-made family, Buddy is the epitome of a husband, father and stepfather. Bonded over their mutual childhood losses, Molly and Buddy are not just stepfather and stepdaughter, but they are the best of pals. When tragedy strikes, and the past at last comes back for its day of reckoning, the question becomes…what really makes a father? What kind of love resides in the heart of a man who takes on the raising of another man’s child, having all the responsibilities…but under the law, none of the rights?
Plot:While the plot does not contain a lot of riveting twists and turns, there is a certain intrigue to it. However, it would benefit the story to feel less like a passive narration of events and more like a series of events actively happening to the characters.
Prose/Style:The author has penned the story of her characters beautifully. The entire narrative is devoid of major typographical and other errors. This author knows her way around words, but could focus on making the language less passive.
Originality:The premise of 'running away from the past' and 'new identities hiding something terrible' are not exactly novel. But the story is much more than just this, focusing also on the many parent-child relationships.
Character Development:The characters were three-dimensional and well developed, from the major players to the very minor ones. None of the characters possessed stereotypical traits, as is prone to happen with minor characters.
Date Submitted: April 17, 2019