GRACE WALKED OUT OF THE HOSPITAL and down the street. New York looked its most beautiful in the spring sunshine, as vibrant and alive as she had ever known it. The streets were thronged with people, rushing about the business of life as if it mattered. It was at once familiar and strange, like walking through a dream that she had had many times before.

She was alive. She was free. Grace understood that these things were supposed to make her happy. She wondered if they ever would.

Looking back over her shoulder at the hospital, she thought fondly of Mitch Connors. Mitch was a good man. A kind man. Grace had sensed that from the beginning. In another life, a different dream, I could have loved him. But that chance had passed, blown away like a feather in the wind. She knew she would never go back.

Would she really go abroad? Probably. Or perhaps she would simply fade away here, as she had before, disappear into the comforting anonymity of the city.

Turning the corner, Grace Brookstein walked toward the subway. The crowds on the sidewalk opened up to let her in, then closed around her like a womb.

She was gone.


MY SINCERE THANKS ARE DUE ONCE again to the Sheldon family for their trust in me, their support and generosity. Also to my editors, May Chen, Wayne Brookes and Sarah Ritherdon, and to everyone else at HarperCollins who has worked so hard on this book. To my agents, Luke and Mort Janklow and Tif Loehnis, and to everyone at Janklow & Nesbit: you are the best. And last but not least to my own family, especially my darling children, Sefi, Zac and Theo, and my husband, Robin, who supports me in everything I do. I love you.

- TB, 2010

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