Pianist Gabriella Richards seems to have it made; she is talented, pretty and gets to spend time with her grandmother in Cali, Columbia every December. Gabriella’s parents deeply were deeply committed to each other until her mother Helena died in an airplane accident. Helena, a talented photographer had been working on a book prior to that ill-fated flight but as Gabriella discovered in the pages of an old diary, that is not all her mother was doing.Gabriella found Helena’s diary at a time when she was struggling to figure out exactly what to do with her life while fulfilling the expectations of friends and family. It revealed some shocking truths that shook Gabriella to her core even as she was falling in love with Angel, a beautiful young man who everyone claims is bad news. Between her mother’s revelations and Angel’s secret life, Gabriella will discover life is seldom clean cut and living up to other peoples expectations may not be the road to happiness.
Cobo has crafted a poignant love story with finely drawn characters mixed into a lush backdrop of Columbia’s landscape and aristocratic lifestyles. The story is told alternately by Gabriella and Helena with a chapter by Gabriella’s grandmother so three generations are represented in this excellent tale of love and loss. The conclusion is just ambiguous enough to provide food for thought well after finishing the last page.