Why was this on my shelf for eight or nine years? No idea, especially now I have read it and know that it is a damn good read!! I looked it up for reviews after I'd finished, and could only find one on Amazon UK. When I look at the US reviews there were only about five - and yet this book has been floating around since 2003. I've reproduced the UK cover, but although clever and does have a bearing on the story, it is not striking in any way and perhaps that is the problem. Even on Goodreads the book has quite a small group of readers.
Moses is a small boy. Around five when his mother is murdered and her will decrees that he should be brought up by his Aunt Ida. Ida is the middle of three siblings (Shoe (Susan) the mother of Moses, Ida and Johny). There is a father, but Shoe leaves him before he knows she is pregnant with his child because she realises that he is not the man she wants as a father for that child. She didn't know she was going to die, but she had left a will, and so Moses goes to live with his grandparents, with Ida being the surrogate mother. Ida's an artist - she could probably be a best selling artist, but she lives at home, paints her dreams, and is not worried about sales.
And then a man called Max arrives in her life. This is when the book takes a completely different turn, and I found myself sort of drawing myself away whenever Max spoke. At first I regarded him as seedy, then manipulative, and then..... then...... No, you are going to have to get hold of a copy somewhere and see what this man really is. But it will be worth it. You know those fat books you buy at the airport for a long flight? Me too. And I usually forget the story about three days after I turn the last page - but not this one. This is not the usual page turner at all. It is beautifully written, and that feeling of dread that crept up on me was so well drawn that I believed that some harm would come to someone before the book's end. I was compelled to finish it, and read it in just 24 hours.
It seems that this is Mockler's only book - pity. She has been writing another for some years, but I guess life has taken over and she may or may not get round to finishing it. Wish she would if it is as good as this one!