For as long as Halley Steen has known her husband Nathan, he has carried a handful of stones in his pocket. Each day he uses those stones to remind him to follow the Golden Rule, moving a stone from one pocket to the other with each act of kindness. So it's not unusual that Nathan stops to help a stranger on the side of the highway while on his way to his son's football game one Friday evening. But that one act will change all of their lives forever, when a car hydroplanes off the road, killing Nathan instantly.
As Halley and her children Ty and Alice struggle with their grief, Nathan's spiritual legacy lives on. A Facebook page appears, where countless stories about Nathan's selfless acts are shared. But among them is one that stands out, from a woman who says that Nathan saved her life. Neither Halley nor her children have ever heard of Madeline Zuckerman. But soon Halley discovers years of e-mails from this woman to her husband on his computer that refer to "our little girl." How could her husband have kept the secret of this other child for their entire marriage? Why had he lied to her? Was he not the man she thought he was?
Only thirteen-year-old Alice maintains unwavering faith in her father. She knows there's an explanation. When she sets out to find Madeline and learn the truth, she will start to unravel the complex story of The One Good Thing Nathan Steen did that had the greatest impact of all.
Many people would consider Nathan Steen an odd duck for carrying small stones in his pocket. That same group of people would also praise the purpose behind this behavior and marvel at all the selfless acts that this man completes on a minute to minute basis throughout his day. The unfortunate thing for Nathan, his wife Halley, and his children, is that one specific act of kindness would cause Nathan's death and completely change life for everyone.
After Nathan's death, a Facebook page appears with many stories about Nathan and his grand gestures of kindness. A woman comes into light and Halley finds a lengthy email exchange with the suspicious phrase "our little girl," appearing in text. Was this a secret affair Nathan had been keeping from Halley with an extramarital child involved? Was the great life that Halley thought that she had all based around a lie. As Halley peels back the layers of secrets that her husband kept will she find her answers?Kevn Milne unravels a very complex, yet heartwarming story about family and the undying power of love and faith in a family member. As I dove into this story I found myself hoping one day that I will have a daughter of my own that is as loyal to her family as Alice (Nathan's daughter). The big struggle that Halley pushes through is also very captivating and keeps you reading furiously until you get to the bottom of the facts behind the mystery yourself. The secrets that a happily married, "supposedly cheating," man kept just didn't seem to add up to the original suppositions about the kind soul that Nathan is built to be. It makes you want to uncover the truth even more as the pages go by. The Facebook site and posts on Nathan's deeds of selflessness give a great image of a man that genuinely felt a responsibility to help all in need. You will find yourself vexed while reading the posts of his actions and aspiring to be even half as kindhearted as he is even before the fog of uncertainty is lifted.
*Reviewed by Chris*
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