Ava had no choice but to go along with her sister. Walking up the back stairs, her feet seemed to get heavier with each step and her courage seeped away. By the time they stood in front of her mother’s bedroom door, she was breathless.
Ava Comes Home is a riveting story about one terrible secret – a secret kept in shame, buried deep for self preservation, and exposed in a moment that changes forever the lives of everyone involved.
Ava Harris is a famous actress living the life of the rich and fabulous in L.A. when a family crisis calls her home. It’s been ten years since she’s set foot in Glace Bay, Cape Breton – back when she was plain old Libby MacKinnon. Why she ran away, no one knows. Returning home, she must face her family, her friends, and her first love, Seamus O’Reilly, whose heart broke the day she left.
Ava is a good little actress, determined that no one will know what happened. She will keep the truth buried at all costs – even if she has to run again. But secrets have a way of surfacing, especially in a small town, and love has a way of blasting through the toughest barriers. While Ava can never go home again, perhaps Libby finally can.
“Crewe’s crisp narraive maintains an enticing rhythm… We give her our highest kudos: we couldn’t put the book down.”
– Aloft Magazine
Elizabeth Ruby MacKinnon, a.k.a. Ava Harris, was the baby in a family of nine, with seven years between her and her next sister, Rose. She’d know from a very early age that she was “the change” baby. She used to lie awake at night and wonder what that meant, exactly. It didn’t sound very good and the fact that her mother was often impatient and cross with her didn’t help matters. Rose would tell her not to worry, that of course their mother loved her. But there was always a niggling doubt that pulled at Ava’s thoughts. Try as she might to ignore it, it coloured everything.
Things became worse when her father was killed in the mine when she was eight. He was the only one in the house who never said a word to her. Everything Libby did was okay by him. Not that she saw him much, for a few minutes after he’d scrubbed the coal dust off his body and had a hefty plateful of Ma’s homemade beans and corn bread. She’d sit on his lap in his rocking chair and inevitably, just as things got interesting and everyone was filling him in about their day, she’d be whisked off to bed.
Despite her protests, her father would kiss the top of her head and tell her to listen to her Ma. “Goodnight, Peanut,” he’d say. Usually it was Rose who pulled her up the stairs and tucked her in.
But Libby never stayed under the covers for long. She learned to move silently through the house, often hiding in closets if one of her siblings charged up the stairs or down the hall unexpectedly. Once she hid under the dining room table to listen in on a heated conversation between her parents and one of her older brothers. She couldn’t believe they didn’t see her. They walked right by as if she were invisible. She made funny faces at her mother the next morning to see if she really was invisible. A quick cuff on the ear and a “smarten up” set her straight.
The day their father died, she curled up in her father’s rocking chair and screamed blue murder when her siblings tried to take her upstairs to bed. They eventually had to leave her there. She slept in that chair for a month, until finally, at her wit’s end, her mother threatened to throw her fairy doll in the wood stove if she didn’t stop her nonsense.