Every year on March 26th, Verity Peterson visits Ogunquit Beach, where she puts a handwritten message into a bottle and launches it into the waves. It's a ritual of remembrance for the daughter she hasn't seen in sixteen years--not since her baby's father, Alan, took two-month-old Gemma and disappeared. Verity keeps searching and hoping, sustained by the thought that someday she might get to be a mother to her own child. And finally, one phone call may change everything...
Verity learns that Alan is now in jail on abduction charges--and Marni Armstrong, born Gemma Peterson-Burns, is coming to live with Verity in Yorktide, Maine. But this isn't the joyful reunion Verity imagined. Gemma has been raised to believe Verity was an unfit mother who left Alan no choice but to take her out of harm's way. Over the course of one summer, Verity tries to reach a tough, wary young woman who's more stranger than daughter. And Gemma must reexamine everything she thought about her parents--and decide whether to trust in a relationship that, though delicate as a seashell on the surface, could prove to be just as beautiful and resilient.
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