This is an easy and quick book to read. Dawn finds herself in the position to help her brother David and his wife Rebekah. After having the baby she had been longing for, Rebekah is not happy, and at some point she even flees home. It is Dawn who finds her in a hotel. The women talk, and Rebekah tells her about her fears, her inability to cope with Harry, and the feeling that she is forgetting those children that didn’t survive. David had told Dawn that the doctor thinks that Rebecca is suffering from depression, but she refuses to get treated.
Dawn persuades Rebekah to stay with her and Archie for a few days, and then she orchestrates for David to bring the baby to the zoo. It is the first step, and mother and son gradually bond, and there is happy ending for them as Rebekah is able to face her fears and mourn the children that she never had.
Dawn’s secret comes out in the open. Archie’s father is Caitlin’s dad. It was when Dawn and Caitlin were doing a work that she got to know Caitlin’s father,Shaun, and one day when Caitlin was around, they slept together. It was a one-off, and even though they used a condom, Dawn got pregnant. It was her mother who found out when she was six months along, but Dawn always refused to say who her baby’s father was. She thought she was protecting Shaun and his family, but when Archie asks her about his dad, she realises that by protecting the man’s family, she was hurting her own. So Dawn goes to see Shaun, and she discovers he is dying. Shaun had already guessed that Archie is his, and once again Dawn uses the zoo as the venue for Archie to meet his father. Now Dawn feels guilty for holding Archie from Shaun and stealing their change to get to know each other. Shaun dies not shortly afterwards, but we don’t know if he told Caitlin about it and how she took it. I would have liked to have seen that.
In the end Dawn and Joel become a couple. Actually, it is Archie who kept pushing them to go out together. Even though Dawn liked him and Joel liked her, she was worried that if things didn’t work, Archie would be the one to suffer. So they set a deadline; they would date for six weeks on the sly, and if after those six weeks they thought there was a future for them, they would tell Archie. Otherwise, nobody would be any the wiser. And that was what happens. Joel becomes part of the family, and their next project together is travel to Africa to see the meerkats in their natural habitat. This is the prize that Archie gets after working with Joe on the zoo project, and Joel sent his contribution to a competition in a magazine.
It was a nice read, but I got quite frustrated with Rebekah. I have to admit that I know little about depression, and her circumstances were special as she was under a lot of pressure. The best character was Joel. I liked him the best. I have to say that at the end of the novel I got a bit bored, but all in all, I enjoyed the novel.