Jean Reynolds Page. Leaving before It’s Over. New York: Avon, 2010.

The illness of Lola’s mother changes the Vines family in ways that no one could have ever imagined. When her parents, Rosalind and Roy, married against the wishes of his parents and left Virginia for good, they assumed that they would never have to revisit that painful time. They moved to Linton Springs, North Carolina, made a family with their two daughters, Lola and Janie Ray, and have a happy life.

Unfortunately, Rosalind begins to notice strange rashes on her arms and legs and discovers that she has a blood disorder. Roy, heartbroken that he cannot afford her medical costs, makes a desperate plea to his parents to loan him money. They are still bitter about the way that he severed their relationship years ago, and they strike a deal with him: take home Luke, the grandson that they assume is his child, in exchange for the resources. Although this is an impossible decision, Roy is determined to save his dear wife.

No one in the Vines family anticipates the upheaval that Luke’s arrival causes. The parents and children ignore the small-town gossips who pounce on the story and quickly figure out how to function as a content family. However, Roy and Rosalind have a difficult time accepting the ongoing manipulation of Roy’s family, especially his twin brother, Mont. Although Lola, wise at sixteen, figures out the truth of Luke’s background, her parents go to great lengths to protect Luke’s feelings. Knowing the facts, they fear, would crumble his sense of self, and, because the family becomes so attached to him so quickly, they are especially protective of him.

Although change comes quickly to the Vines, they maintain the core values of  their family: support and love.

This story is told through the observations and feelings of Lola, Luke, Rosalind, and Roy.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Page, Jean Reynolds, Romance/Relationship

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