Ten-year-old Daria, was walking along the beach beside her North Carolina home in the town of Kill Devil's Hill, on the morning of her eleventh birthday. She was busy marvelling at all the crab shells when she thought she saw the biggest crab shell ever. Gingerly, she flipped it over with her bare foot and realized it was a baby covered in blood with the placenta still attached!! She screamed, ran, stopped, ran some more, then realized she had to go back to see if the baby was alive. It was! She quickly took off her tank top, wrapped it around the baby and then realized she'd have to carry this bloody mountain of goo with her. She ran to the beach house, put the baby on the kitchen table and ran upstairs to wake her parents. They were awestruck to say the least. Daria's Mom, once a nurse, sprang into action. She boiled a pair of scissors to cut the umbilical cord and washed the baby. With that done she called 911. When the EMS people arrived they had to pry the baby from Daria's Mom's arms.
From here, the story advances 22 years and it's Daria's 33rd birthday and Shelly's 22nd birthday. Shelly is the baby who Daria found on the beach all those years ago. Daria's Mom ended up adopting her and raising her as one of her own but her parents are now dead and Daria watches over her. Daria had been a volunteer EMT until a seaplane went down in the water near her home and everyone blamed Shelly for killing the 18-year-old pilot!
Next, Rory Taylor comes to town for the summer with his 15-year-old son, Zack. Rory is the host of the television show in California called 'True Life Stories' and he's in Kill Devil's Hill to investigate who is really Shelly's mother. Who was it that left that newborn baby to die on the beach 22 years ago? The townspeople are protective of Shelly and Rory runs into roadblock after roadblock until one particular evening at an end-of-summer barbecue and bonfire.
This book had me hooked right from beginning to end. It was my first Diane Chamberlain novel and I've ordered 3 more of her books as this one was so good.