Sisters Maya and Rebecca, both physicians are practically polar opposites. Sun-struck Rebecca is a firebrand who eagerly joined the DIDA (Doctors International Disaster Aid). She is a globetrotter, traveling worldwide as a medical missionary.
Moonstruck Maya settles into a comfortable pediatric practice and an equally comfortable marriage with Adam, a man who desperately wants children. His goal is to ensure that his bloodline continue.
The sisters became orphans when their parents were killed at gunpoint. Rebecca, then 18 was forced into raising Maya, then 14. Maya feels indebted to Rebecca who saved her from Child Protective Services. She also feels somewhat guilty, the "guilt of the survivor" syndrome for having been in the car when their parents were killed.
The sisters embark upon a wary Dance of Deception, each somewhat resentful of the other and each somewhat envious of the other. The one thing they DO need to talk about is the traumatic conditions under which they became orphaned.
Tornadoes and natural disasters are a rampant theme in this book. Just as the sisters were drawn into a maelestrom of trauma in their youth, they each get caught up in a real tornado that hits their home coast.
Rebecca and Adam help the Relief Effort through DIDA and Maya is presumed dead. She initially stays behind as is her wont; she is timorous and not inclined to take risks.
Adam implores Maya to join them and she does so very reluctantly. At the time of Adam's call urging her company, she is encouraging a seriously ill child onto the helicopter that is bound for the DIDA relief efforts. Sadly the helicopter crashes to the craggy cliffs below.
As the days pass, Adam and Rebecca turn to each other. This is not surprising, but it is disappointing nonetheless. Maya is presumed dead, so Adam and Rebecca soldier on, convinced that they are free and clear to pursue a romance and give voice to their unrequited love for each other.
Maya's condition and the people with whom she is in contact sound quite implausible in places. Another stroke of irony is that Maya and her husband and sister are just a few miles apart.
One could feel for Maya, who lost so much. It was hard not to want to kick Rebecca in the shins for bird dogging her brother-in-law. Maya, the moon-struck sister is as light, gentle and cooling as lunar light; she is compassionate and the perfect foil to the meteorological maelestroms that surround her.
Sun-struck Rebecca, on the other hand had a ruthless side to her. I did not like her and felt she was a self-serving and superficial personality. Her work with DIDA did not come across as altruistic; in her case, one got the sense that she wanted to be lauded for her heroism and altruism. True altruism seeks no return and heroes are more often than not warriors and casualties. In one sense, Rebecca is a casualty of her own avaricious nature.
Adam seemed decent enough, but I never really got a literary "sense" of Adam, the essence of his character. It bothered me that Adam willingly consummated the affair with Rebecca because, due to the time factor Maya's whereabouts were still unknown. She was also not formally declared dead. What Adam and Maya shared was gentle and beautiful and, yeah, real. When Rebecca entered the equation, the figures became thrown off count.
Even though, I still loved the book. Thanks to Vine, I discovered this wonderful author and I will continue to enjoy her books.
Stephen Stills' of CSNY fame's 1969 classic "Love the One You're With" could easily be the soundtrack of this book.