Having left Eugene, she arrives in the (fictional) lumber town of Fir Valley, Douglas County, where she stubbornly sets out to make a new life for herself and her child. Unfortunately, she becomes one of the victims in a horrid scheme to steal her newborn baby. When she figures out what has happened, she refuses to give up her baby without a fight, even if she has to take on the town's most powerful and richest family. Through it all, Tamara's one controlling thought is, ''What's the best thing I can do for my baby?''
The storyline is as complex as it is sinister. There is evil personified, treachery, deceit, greed and murder. There is also the totally human need for family and love--the love of another and the love FOR another. Some of the scenes and language are necessarily gritty, but that's the way life can (but shouldn't) be. However, there is also tenderness and poignancy, especially for a lost child in pain who is, in turn, having a child. The author doesn't ask you to pity Tamara or excuse her bad decisions, but you ARE asked to try to understand--put yourself in HER shoes--don't judge, just reach out a hand to another human in pain and fear. These are very real characters and they draw you in immediately; their motivations include self-interest, self-sacrifice, self-doubt and selfishness. It took me less than 24 hours to read this book, because I couldn't put it down.
This is B K Mayo's first published novel. Another in the growing list of Douglas County writers and artists, Mayo has worked with ''at risk'' children (as part of the education system) for 20 years; the last 5 were as In-School Suspension Supervisor in Roseburg High School. Several Amazon.com reviewers talked about the ''suspense with mysterious twists'' while containing ''a lot of heart.'' One reviewer ''got so involved with the characters that I felt like traveling to Oregon and looking (them) up so I could talk to them--but, oh, that's right, it's fictional.'' I understand this last comment very well, as I, too, had very intense, negative feelings for one of the characters (as I was meant to have). This is a fine author with lots of good books waiting in his fertile mind. I look forward to his next one. --Tricia Dias, Douglas County News Copyright 2009: Reprinted by permission of the reviewer