The Search Angel

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Published by: Harper Collins
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Pages: 328
ISBN13: 978-1443410823



As the owner of the upscale children’s boutique Pretty Baby, Eleanor Sweet is surrounded by gleaming strollers, organic cotton onesies and roundbellied expectant mothers. It’s a serene atmosphere of new beginnings — but for the graffiti-splattered record shop next door and Eleanor’s fierce desire for a baby of her own. Her wish is finally granted in the form of Sylvie, an orphaned baby en route from earthquake-stricken Baja California. But when Eleanor’s husband unexpectedly gets cold feet and backs out, her dream of adopting Sylvie is at risk.

Adopted herself, Eleanor has always been reluctant to search out her birth mother, afraid of what she might find. But she is determined to save the adoption and to give Sylvie the family she deserves. Eleanor hires Isabelle, a search angel, to find her birth mother. What Eleanor discovers about love and family isn’t what she expects, but it gives her a new understanding of what it means to be a mother.

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It doesn’t happen all that often, that an infertile woman enters Boston’s most exclusive baby shop to torture herself with all that could have been, but when it does, it’s always the same. She slips through the door and winces when the bell chirps her arrival. She avoids eye contact with Eleanor and her assistant, Ginny Hardwell, and wanders along the battered wooden floor toward the back, taking care to stick to the store’s periphery where the larger baby equipment is displayed—chunky jogging strollers that look like miniature ATVs, cribs that justify their exorbitant prices by later converting into daybeds. Then, when she no longer feels the weight of anyone’s attention, the woman wanders along the antique shelving left behind by the previous tenant, pausing to examine a Baby Mozart CD or a vanilla-scented plastic giraffe. These objects don’t hold her attention for long. What stops her—what stops this woman today—are the newborn sleepers.

The look on the blonde’s crumpled face as she holds up a tiny onesie says it all. Wanting anything this small cannot be too much to ask of life.