In her mid-20s, Cassie George is trying to make a life for herself in California as she pursues her doctorate and raises her child, Lark. Cassie repeatedly sells herself short as she deals with shame about her past decisions and grapples with the missing pieces of her history: Who were her mother and father? Cassie was raised in Gull’s Bay on the coast of Oregon by Shasta, a woman whom Cassie was told was related to her mother. In the tight-knit community where people looked out for each other, Cassie experienced unconditional love, and Shasta was her mother, for all intents and purposes.
Now Cassie receives word that Shasta is very ill. When Cassie and Lark return to Gull’s Bay, Cassie is determined to look after her aunt on her own. But she soon realizes that caring for a patient with Parkinson’s disease who has also had a stroke is far beyond her capabilities. As the familiar residents of Gull’s Bay—people who have loved Shasta and Cassie—see the young woman’s dilemma, they step up to help.
Besides juggling the incessant needs of Shasta and Lark, Cassie’s world is upended when a package arrives at her door. Anonymous and mysterious, the enclosed pages tell the story of a woman faced with an inconceivable injustice. As Cassie slowly makes her way through the manuscript, interrupted repeatedly by caregiving demands, she begins to wonder about the connection between the unidentified woman and herself.
Pleasingly suspenseful and complexly plotted, this novel for adults is a window into a broken world where evil often manifests, yet where God’s grace is always evident, bringing shalom. Shaped by the Waves includes a gentle romance, a portrait of smalltown life at its best, a realistic depiction of the trials and joys of being a caregiver, and biblical truth woven throughout. (Bethany House Publishers)