While researching the story of a child from Regency England who painted an exquisite album of watercolors, novelist Julie Myerson is haunted by lost potential. Mary Yelloly, the young artist, died at twenty-two. Myerson is also reminded of her own child. Only days earlier, she and her husband locked their eldest son out of the house. He had discovered drugs, and it had taken only a few months for the once happy boy to propel his family into chaos. Julie tells his story with devastating candor, struggling to accept that she is powerless to bring her son back. While these two young lives -- one cut short, one derailed -- may be separated by centuries, they raise the same questions: What happens when a child disappears from a family? And how is a parent to cope when love is not enough?
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