Clara Marsh spends her days among the dead, preparing them for their final resting place on this earth. She finds solace in her loneliness, her garden, and the couple who own the funeral home where she works as a mortician who treat her as their own daughter. But when a young girl shows up at the funeral home, Clara's life begins to unravel. It is obvious the girl is neglected, but Clara really doesn't want to get involved; it reminds her of her own childhood. However when clues arrive that this little girl has a connection to a murdered child Clara prepared 4 years ago, her carefully constructed walls start to fall down as people around her are revealed to be who they truly are and she herself has to decide between continued isolation, or to help a child who's own past, like Clara's is steeped in mystery.
I picked this up on a whim at Target the other day and read it in one day. Completely blown away. There wasn't really a great mystery for me, I kind of figured out who the killer was, but the story of Clara. Her voice throughout this whole book really got to me. She reminded me of myself in many many ways, to the point that I thought I was going to have to stop reading the book for awhile. This is the first time I have ever so identified with a character. Wonderful way to start the new year.