Sneak Peek expires in one week.


CHAPTER ONE: The Last Tug On A String

I half-jogged, half-walked to catch up with my seventeen-year-old daughter, Robyn, at Chicago O’Hare Airport and all I could think about was how a person can disappear from their own life and not even know it was happening. The life part goes on, but you’ve slipped to the curb and despite waving like a maniac shouting “But Wait!”—admittedly not the strongest shout-out to get life to slow its roll—life, in my experience waits for no man, or motherless fourth-grade girl, pregnant woman or single moM trying her darnedest to hold off catastrophe.

“Robyn!” I called out, not alarmingly so, not a 911 call, no, just loud enough to alert her. To point out that she was moving too fast for me. “Rob, hold up,” I said, using her nickname to soften the parental call out. There was no indication that she heard me. In her mind, there was zero cause for alarm, I always caught up. 

If my daughter, my one and only, rushing as if she’d flown to New York alone a million times before, could hear my thinking, she’d roll her eyes and say, “Mom. So dramatic. Everything is fine.” Of course, she’d say that because Robyn didn’t know how un-fine life could get. She had me, Poppy Lively, keeping her life as stress-free as possible. When she organized a Quidditch team slash Harry Potter book club in her sophomore year, I created the reading schedule, found a field, made the brooms, and called the other mothers—who did the same for their kids.

Unlike my own mother who’d voluntarily left me when I was nine, I’d use every James Bond tool in my long and storied career of being a woman before I’d ever vanish, purposefully or accidentally from my daughter Robyn’s life. This was the As God Is My Witness – fist-shaking to the heavens-thought I had seconds before dodging a massive golf-cart-like vehicle transporting an ancient, gasping man who might not live to see his departure gate. The driver zigged while I zagged and I dropped my Hot Venti Latte on my white jeans. 

“No! Oh no,” I said trying to minimize the trajectory of the drink, and reduce the collateral damage. “Excuse you!” I shouted as the people-mover scooted away. “How did he not see me?” I said to other travellers giving me a wide berth as if my clumsiness was contagious. 

Shhhh…..I can’t show you anything else….but I hope you liked that peek. 

xo Ann


Thanks to Ben White for the photo.