Leila (pronounced lee-la and not lay-la like the song) is a child of her fathers second marriage. Shes sixteen and years younger than her successful and interesting half-sisters, but she has always been fascinated by their lives (and even the life of her fathers first wife). When Rebecca commits suicide, Leila and the rest of the family are left reeling. Most of all, Leila wants to understand why.
Leila winds up moving in with Claire, her remaining sister, while her parents travel off on a humanitarian project. Though she had been closer to Rebecca than Claire before, Leila soon finds herself warming up to her newly discovered sister. Through Claire, she learns more about Rebecca and herself.
During her search to learn more about Rebecca and the why of things, she takes a job in a cafÃ© that she had once seen Rebecca eating in with a stranger in the hopes of meeting the man in person. While she ultimately does see that stranger again, it is her meeting of Eamon that really changes her life.
At thirty-one, Eamon tries to distance himself when he finds out exactly how old Leila is I dont date teenagers he tells her, but ultimately they are drawn together like magnets. Their relationship is a delicate balance of needs and wants and desires.
Now, I imagine you might be thinking whoa! at this point. Sixteen/seventeen year-old protagonist + thirty-one year-old lover. Parents that disappear for a year after a daughters suicide, leaving behind their underage daughter. I should have, perhaps, mentioned in the beginning that this is not your conventional family and Leila is not your average character. While some may see shades of Lolita in the age difference, it really isnt anything like that. Youll have to just read the novel yourself to see.
This is a novel of self-discovery and also the many faces of love love for your family, your friends & significant others, yourself... I recommend it for readers aged 14 and up. I think youll enjoy this one.