The Kindness of Strangers
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A young widow raising two boys, Sarah Laden is struggling to keep her family together. But when a shocking revelation rips apart the family of her closest friend, Sarah finds herself welcoming yet another troubled young boy into her already tumultuous life.
Jordan, a quiet, reclusive elementary school classmate of Sarah's son Danny, has survived a terrible ordeal. By agreeing to become Jordan's foster mother, Sarah will be forced to question the things she has long believed. And as the delicate threads that bind their family begin to unravel, all the Ladens will have to face difficult truths about themselves and one another—and discover the power of love necessary to forgive and to heal.
about school, tell me about the dance with Mackenzie, tell me about practice. Why did he have to do all the work? It was like saying to someone, “You give a speech now, and I’ll sit back and listen.” “I went to class. The bell rang. I went to another class. That’s pretty much it.” She shot him a look but then laughed and said, “You did this seven times, right? You promise?” He snorted again, happy she took it as a joke. Before he could think of anything else to say, though, Mom said, “I mean,
morning, when I found the picture, I sent him down to the principal’s office. Not two seconds after he left my room, the fire alarm went off. From my door I saw him running at the end of the hall, away from the broken alarm.” Sarah felt sick, both from what Danny had done and from the horror in the teacher’s eyes. “But you’ve found him since then,” she said. She wanted to know where he was. She wanted to get her hands on him. “Yes,” Ms. Zimmerman said with a sigh. “While we evacuated the
wait two weeks. Two years. What was wrong with that? But it made his jaw tighten, made him tense. And it was worse because she blushed. Damn. Now he was really awake. He might as well do something. He reached for his paperback copy of Hamlet. He was supposed to write a scene in iambic pentameter that provided an answer to one of the questions left hanging in Hamlet. There were so many he wondered why the play was famous. Tony claimed he was writing a sex scene between Ophelia and Hamlet. Big
and distracted all morning. And she knew that even though Kramble had only invited her to dinner, they would end up in bed if she wanted them to. Would he be a little rough-and-tumble? She pictured them tearing clothes and panting and knocking over furniture. Or did that image only come to her because he carried a gun? But there was that scar . . . that history. Maybe he wouldn’t be rough at all, but fragile and cautious. Whatever history he’d survived, he’d risen above it, gotten married,
couldn’t muster the “it couldn’t be true” anymore. It had evolved into a monotonous internal refrain of, You know it’s true, you know it’s true. “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be fine. He’s more terrified than ever about his father, though. We’re going to spend a little more time with Bryn. Looks like we might have a visitation tomorrow. Earliest would be afternoon, say two. We’re cranking out details and trying to prepare him for it. I’ll have him back around dinnertime. Is that okay?”