Katie’s just lost her job and after a year of shocks and sadness as she recovers from the sudden death of her mother, she believes that she’s impervious to shock. So, when a solicitor contacts her and reveals that, not only is the man who raised her not her biological father, but that she also has a trust fund of over $700 000 waiting for her from the man who is.
There’s no pressure on her to contact him, but all Katie can think of is who her biological father is. Under the encouragement of her friends, she heads to her father, Stirling’s home, where a party is underway to celebrate her paternal grandmother’s 90th birthday. Under the guise of a waitress, Katie has run-ins with her new family members, who are unaware of their connection to her.
At the end of the party, she reveals her true identity to her father, grandmother and aunt, all of whom are quick to accept the new family member in the wake of the discovery that another family member, Stirling’s younger brother Neil, is dead and has possibly been defrauding clients for years.
The reader is immediately pulled into the story. I wanted to know what would happen when the rest of the family discovered their connection to Katie, which the author, Erica James didn’t disappoint me with. The shock of the revelation on Stirling’s wife and adult children pulls apart a family, already weakened by grief over the death of Neil and the feeling of betrayal by both men for living secret lives. Their reactions were true to what one would expect from a family making such an immense discovery.
Just like the characters, I was heartbroken when Katie makes a choice to walk away from it all momentarily, including her budding relationship with her adopted cousin, Lloyd, to make things easier on her father and his family.
As the story reaches its climax, secrets spill out, and as the characters are left reeling, there’s nothing left for them to do but rebuild.
At its heart, The Real Katie Lavender is a story about love. Not just romantic love, but also the love and compassion of a family as they deal with hard times and the things that drive them.