cover image I Am Ayah: The Way Home

I Am Ayah: The Way Home

Donna Hill. Sideways, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-64937-145-4

Hill (Confessions in B-flat) delivers a beautiful love story that doubles as a heartfelt family saga with just a hint of magical realism. Though the biggest opportunity of Alessandra Fleming’s photography career approaches, she drops everything to rush home to Sag Harbor when she learns that her estranged father has been hospitalized. Once home, she’s dogged by mysterious flashbacks to lives she’s never lived. Soon, she realizes the only solution is to dig into the family history her late mother struggled to keep secret. Zach Renard calls his grandmother’s Sag Harbor house home, but he’s normally on the road as a traveling ethnographer. Though they’ve never met before, he and Alessandra share an instant mutual attraction, and he puts his skills to use to help her uncover the family secrets that might make sense of her psychic episodes. As the pair fall in love, they also work through mutual trauma. In rich, velvety prose, Hill manages to make the present and past story lines equally captivating. The complexity of the plot and depth of the emotions make this stand out. (June)