All her life, California winery owner Isabel Gallego’s has done what was expected of her. Now well into her forties, Isabel is determined not to become George Bailey of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, always putting the needs or expectations of others first. Instead, she has decided to sell Gallengos Wines and begin a new life far from the vineyards. As the sale moves into the final stages, Isabel’s carefully laid plans are thrown into disarray with news of her cousin’s death. Isabel is now the legal guardian of three children she barely knows and must fly to Argentina to work out other arrangements.
Despite objections, Isabel’s ex-husband Nick joins her on the flight down. As Isabel frantically tries to make sense of the situation and reconnect with the children, she cannot help but wonder what her cousin was thinking in appointing her guardianship of the three children. The appearance of the children’s uncle seems like a perfect solution to Isabel’s unexpected motherhood status but just as she learns to love the three orphans, it is time to deliver them to their uncle back in Argentina. As Isabel, Nick and Uncle Ramiro grow attached to the children, they rediscover some things about themselves and learn it is possible for people to change for the better.
This thoughtful novel explores issues of loss, family ties and sacrifice as Isabel struggles to come to terms with caring for three children and doing what is best for all concerned. Unfortunately, overly long descriptions and tiresome repeated references to past mistakes bog down the story, otherwise this is a strong story dealing with genuine problems. The character development is excellent although one has to wonder about Nick’s confused relationship with Isabel and his fiancé. His continued insistence on being involved in Isabel’s life seems strange for a man about to marry someone else and while a part of the story, isn’t believable.