Author: Nora Roberts
No. of Pages: 505 pages
First Published: 2003
Synopsis (courtesy of B&N): “On a hot July afternoon, a worker at an Antietam Creek construction site drives the blade of his backhoe into a layer of soil — and strikes a 5,000-year-old human skull. The discovery draws plenty of attention and a lot of controversy. It also changes the life of one woman in ways she never expected…
As an archaeologist, Callie Dunbrook knows a lot about the past. But her own past is about to be called into question. Recruited for her expertise on the Antietam Creek dig, she encounters danger — as a cloud of death and misfortune hangs over the project, and rumors fly that the site is cursed. She finds a passion that feels equally dangerous, as she joins forces in her work with her irritating, but irresistible, ex-husband, Jake. And when a strange woman approaches her, claiming to know a secret about Callie’s privileged Boston childhood, some startling and unsettling questions are raised about her very identity.
Searching for answers, trying to rebuild, Callie finds that there are deceptions and sorrows that refuse to stay buried. And as she struggles to put the pieces back together, she discovers that the healing process comes with consequences — and that there are people who will do anything to make sure the truth is never revealed.”
Comments and Critiques: As with most of my Nora Roberts reads, this was a re-read, but I had forgotten how much I love this one. Callie is probably one of my favorite of Ms. Roberts’ heroines ever because she is flawed with a capital F. She swears. She has a horrible temper and is incredibly stubborn. She is not your typical romance heroine; in fact, she may be the anti-thesis of them. But I adore her. She is a supremely strong, loyal, responsible – all extremely admirable traits in my eyes.
The plot keeps you guessing until the very end. Ms. Roberts has done a wonderful job of weaving the tragedy into the mystery in such a way that keeps you reading well into the night in order to find out what happens. When read after one of her earlier novels, this one highlights the fact that Ms. Roberts has grown by leaps and bounds in her writing.
As a huge Twilight fan, I had to laugh at some of the names. The Cullens play a prominent role in the novel, and one of the character’s names is Douglas Edward Cullen. Jacob (or Jake) also makes an appearance, as does a Dr. Carlyle (even though it is misspelled, it is still worth mentioning). June 2003 is when Stephenie Meyer had her dream that started the entire Twilight series, and March 2003 is when this book was first published. Coincidence? 😉
I would definitely recommend this book to family and friends. It is a great read that even made me revisit my old dreams of becoming an archaeologist. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading a novel by Nora Roberts, this would definitely be a great one to use as an introduction!
Since Roberts wrote her book before Stephenie Meyer came out with Twilight, it’s pretty clear Meyer ripped off two names from Nora’s Birthright for her Twilight series. Not ONE person can ever be original.
I don’t think there was any malicious intent on Meyer’s part. It really could be a coincidence after all.