Shadows are created when the light is blocked by an obstacle, producing areas of darkness. Shadows can represent dark places where people hide things they do not want to take responsibility for. Things such as: child abuse, spousal abuse, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, mental illness. Every family has secrets but some have dark, dangerous secrets that physically or mentally cripple those around them. The only way to address these things is by bringing them into the light. Individuals also create shadows in their mind in order to hide painful memories of unacceptable behavior or trauma that they have suffered. These memories can reappear at any time, and the pain can be devastating again.
This story spans three generations of women—mother, daughter, and granddaughter. They all three had black hair, emerald green eyes and shared a predisposition for mental illness, which are all hereditary traits. The era that each lived had a significant impact on the problems that they had passed to each other. Mental illness in the 1930s was lumped into one category. Bess, born in this time, was hidden away to conceal her mental illness that was spiraling downward into complete insanity. Jane, Bess’s daughter, was born late in Bess’s life. Jane’s mental illness began to surface as a teenager and brought destructive behavior that affected many people adversely and forever changed their future.
Jane’s daughter, Lily, was raised in the shadow of alcohol addiction, child abuse, her mother’s partner abuse, and murder. Lily had to pull herself out of dire circumstances while she dealt with the possibility that she might have a form of mental illness. Lily was blessed with an angel in the form of a lonely widow who gave her the tools she needed to lead a normal life. She also experienced the unconditional love and devotion that came from a dog that wandered into her life.