The point in our lives when we realize that our parents are more than just parents–they’re human and they make mistakes and sometime poor choices in life, is at the center of this story of Gabriella Richards. Gabriella lives a very sheltered and privileged life with her Hollywood director father. She lost her mother, a free-spirit from Cali, Colombia, when she was just four years old. Gabriella goes back to Cali to visit with her grandmother, Nini, every year, where again, she leads a very sheltered and privileged life. Until the summer that she turns 21 when everything changes.
Gabriella discovers an unknown diary that her mother had written only for her, learning that her mother had secrets that Gabriella finds painful to acknowledge. Meanwhile, she finds herself falling for a very dangerous but loving man. Gabriella struggles to understand her mother’s choices while she tries to justify to herself and those around her that the man she now loves is not like all the others in that dark world.
When something horrific eventually does happens, Gabriella realizes the reasons why her mother made the choices she did. She understands what her mother did and while she can never let go of her anger, she forgives her mother. This is a powerful story of a young woman’s awakening that I could not put down.