Not happy with her picture-perfect life, Olivia goes to Georgia to scatter her mother's ashes and discovers the life she wants to be living. Olivia has a seemingly perfect life. She has a great, high-powered job and a wealthy hard-working fiancÚ, Leo. But she knows she's not totally happy and can't put her finger on why. When Olivia's mother, Jane, passes away from cancer, it's revealed that she wanted Olivia and sister Georgia to head to her hometown to scatter her ashes. She leaves fairly specific instructions for where she wants her ashes scattered. Olivia and Georgia are confused considering their mother never talked about her past or where she grew up. When Olivia's fiancÚ tells her he booked their wedding venue and date, Olivia decides to go to Huntley, Georgia, to try to learn about her mother's past before her sister meets her there for the scattering of ashes.
Olivia takes Georgia's teenage daughter, niece Logan, with her to Huntley and the pair book a hotel in a town called Tillman. They meet a man named Elliott during their first day in town and it is clear that Olivia is immediately attracted to him. He owns the local newspaper and has lived in the area all his life. Olivia and Elliott hit it off and he begins to help her learn about her mother's past. Fairly quickly, Olivia learns that the town of Huntley no longer exists... A man-made lake was put there during her mother's time and this lake is one of the places Jane wanted her ashes placed.
Though her fiancÚ and sister are telling Olivia she needs to come home, Olivia is spending every day learning about her mother, often times with the help of Elliott. She even rents a cottage because she knows she wants to stay int he area a bit longer. In the meantime, Logan is starting to fall for Elliott's nephew and it's clear that Olivia is falling for Elliott hard. She starts to ignore phone calls from her fiancÚ and acts quite single (and as far as Elliott knows, she is). both Olivia and Logan are settling into life in the South. However, many people in the town won't talk to Olivia about her mother's history and she wonders what happened that caused so many people to be upset.
With a lot of help from Elliott, Olivia eventually discovers why her mom never talked about her past. Her mom's childhood best friend and first boyfriend had passed away shortly after the pair married. Their baby also passed away. Jane never spoke to her family about this past and as far as Olivia and Georgia knew, their father was Jane's only love. This was all pretty shocking to Olivia. She even learns that she and her sister were named after their mother's love and his brother who also passed away.
In the meantime, Leo comes to surprise Olivia and discovers her and Elliott. Elliott is understandably upset she didn't tell him about Leo and Leo can tell that Olivia is starting to form feelings for Elliott. She alienates them both until she decides what she really wants: Elliott and his small-town life. Georgia comes to Tillman and she and Olivia scatter their mother's ashes. Olivia decides to stay in Georgia with Elliott and begin a new life.
Best part of story, including ending:
I thought this book would be typical chick lit, but it actually ended up being a deep, multi-layered book much more complicated than it appeared, but still very entertaining.
Best scene in story:
I enjoyed the scene when Elliott first stays at Olivia's cottage and it's clear the two are really meant to be together.
Opinion about the main character:
I liked Olivia because she is flawed, but in a way that most people can relate to. She is confused, but throughout the book comes to terms with what she wants in life.