24 March 2012

Chapter One Summary

Our story centers around a family struggling to stay together despite the problems that seem to follow them everywhere. Originally from Barnacle Bay, the Pesces have relocated their family to Twinbrook in search of a new life and a fresh start. While he was once a doctor with a good salary and excellent prospects for the future, Moe has left that career behind him and intends to embark on life as a fisherman, while his wife Jane has recently been hired as a teacher at the local elementary school. Despite the initial bumps in the road- including Moe's reluctance towards the move- the Pesces settle into a comfortable routine that seems to please everyone, including their rambunctious twins, Sophie and Ethan. They quickly find out, however, that their new life is anything but simple.

Shortly after arriving in Twinbrook, the Pesces discover that part of their past hasn't exactly stayed behind in Barnacle Bay. Jane's brooding and troublesome ex, Chase Cruz, has also moved to Twinbrook to start a new life. When they confront him, he explains that he has moved to pursue a fresh start of his own, and claims that he'd had no idea that Jane and Moe had moved into the neighborhood as well. But is his explanation genuine?

Moe and Jane resolve to not let Chase get in the way of their new start, and for a while it seems like their plan will work. As the twins grow out of their toddler years, the Pesces entertain ideas of expanding their family. While Jane wants a new baby to fill the void that the twins left, Moe is looking forward to the twins growing up and giving them back some of their freedom. After all, twins are a handful to raise, and it's about time they get a break. Before they can come to a decision, however, Jane finds out that she's pregnant, and the Pesces are forced to reevaluate their plans.

Moe decides to go back to work as a doctor, and he and Jane prepare for the baby's arrival. Meanwhile, the younger Pesces have become quite close to Lucy, who- unbeknownst to them- is the daughter of their parents' dreaded enemy, Chase Cruz. When Chase comes to pick up his daughter after a playdate, all three adults are surprised to find out that their children have become friends, and the encounter doesn't go smoothly at all. We find out that Lucy is the daughter of his ex-fiance, Amy Jenkins, who was murdered and left Lucy in Chase's care.

Jane and Moe try to keep their distance from Chase, but he seems to be everywhere, particularly when it comes to Jane. After an unfortunate encounter in the laundromat involving mixed signals and pregnancy hormones running high, Jane returns home to Moe and tells him about Chase's attempted kiss- an admission that doesn't go over well. Moe's jealous nature rears its head, and he never fully trusts Chase or his intentions. Jane assures him that she has no feelings whatsoever for her ex-boyfriend- except perhaps loathing and hatred- but Moe's newfound jealousy and her own muddled-up hormones certainly make for a lot of fighting.

It isn't long before the baby is ready to join the Pesces, and Jane and Moe expect their third- and final- pregnancy to be a breeze. But when Moe forgets to call the babysitter, the twins are left alone in the house- and when Sophie and Ethan are left to their own devices, trouble is sure to ensue! Sure enough, the Pesces return home from the hospital to find that the twins have somehow managed to set their stove on fire, and Jane settles her children in for a nice, long lecture.

The twins begin to mellow a little after the arrival of their little sister- fortunately for Jane and Moe! Izzy Pesce is definitely the spoiled princess of the Pesce clan, and it isn't long before she has the entire family wrapped around her finger- including Jane's parents, Isabel and Phillip Evans, who visit their granddaughter, make Moe feel uncomfortable, and announce their intention of relocating to Twinbrook all within the same evening.

Izzy's arrival and Isabel and Phillip moving to town aren't the only changes invading the Pesces' lives, however. After the pregnancy, Jane finds it exceedingly difficult to go back to work, and winds up quitting to pursue her dream of becoming a reporter. While Moe hopes that the change in career will help his wife settle down, it proves to do the exact opposite when Jane stumbles upon an article regarding Amy Jenkins' death- a death that was never fully investigated. This discovery sets her on an investigation of her own as she begins to question everyone who knew Amy Jenkins prior to her death- including Chase.

Never one to know when she's bitten off more than she can chew, Jane's questioning lands her in hot water with an unknown party who doesn't want her digging around. But it isn't until the unknown culprit throws a rock through the front window that Jane realizes just how dangerous her snooping is. She promises Moe that she'll stop looking into the case, but it's difficult for her to stay away. Fortunately, raising Izzy takes up a lot of time, and when the twins and Lucy begin acting suspicious, there's plenty to take Jane's mind off of Amy Jenkins and her mysterious death.

But it isn't long before those distractions wear off, and with the arrival of Jebediah Kane, a private investigator who recently moved into the neighborhood with his extensive family, Jane can't help but start digging once more. She hires Jeb to follow Jenni Baker (née Jones-Brown), but his findings come up empty. She continues enlisting the help of two of Amy's former friends, Angie Morris and Matt Schtick, but the investigation is slow and frustrating.

Unfortunately for Jane, the plot thickens when someone attempts to blackmail her with pictures of her and Chase, and Moe's jealousy begins to get worse. But Jane can tell him the truth- that she was simply questioning Chase about Amy's death- their house catches fire, burning to the ground and destroying the majority of their belongings, leaving the Pesces to move into Jane's parents' house. Things between Jane and Moe only get worse, and it starts to become noticeable even to the twins, who believe that the tension between their parents derives from their fight with Lucy's father.

Having inherited their mother's nosiness in droves, the twins set up a fake picnic intended to drive their parents together and force them to make up. And to everybody's surprise, it does seem to work. Moe and Chase reach a tenuous truce, with Chase apologizing for continuing to harass Jane and Moe realizing that Chase isn't always a major douche. While at the picnic, Jane receives a call from Angie telling her to meet her so that she can give her a book she found that might shed some light on Amy's death. But by the time Jane arrives, Angie has been attacked by an unknown assailant.

While Angie recovers from her attack, Jane and Moe struggle to communicate, but he does manage to give her the book Angie had brought with her to their meeting. Jane realizes that the book is Amy's diary, and that it contains several pieces of incriminating information- namely that Amy was being blackmailed about some forgeries she had unknowingly created, and that her blackmailer was none other than Jenni Jones-Brown (now Jenni Baker). Jane heads to Jenni's house to confront her, without telling anyone where she's going or what she's up to. Jenni admits to blackmailing Amy, but has a solid alibi for the day of her death and claims that she never actually received any money from her.

Jane goes to the cemetery to visit Amy's grave and think about the information she's uncovered, but someone follows her, having received a phone call from Jenni regarding Jane's suspicions. Now that she's getting close to the truth, it seems someone has decided that her snooping simply can't be tolerated anymore. Jane is attacked from behind and kidnapped, and it turns out that her kidnapper- and Amy's murderer- is none other than Matt Schtick, Amy's former friend and a local firefighter. As he starts to explain his motives to Jane, she begins to realize that he is far more dangerous than she originally thought.

He and Amy had grown up together, but their friendship had always been rather one-sided. Amy was selfish, manipulative, and blind to the damage she inflicted on those around her, particularly Matt. He had always been in love with her, but she constantly chose men like Chase, and Matt could only stand by helplessly while she made bad decisions- including the ones that led to her being pregnant and heartbroken when Chase cheated on her and left town. She and Matt had gotten into a fight that resulted in neither of them talking to each other until they were much older.

But when he admitted his feelings to her, she seemed repulsed by the very idea. For Matt, that had been the final straw. He had been involved with Jenni's blackmailing plans, hoping that by allowing Jenni to ruin her life, he'd be able to swoop in and be her knight and shining armor. When he realized that she had never felt about him the way he felt about her, he became blinded by rage and stabbed her.

By the time Matt is done recounting his story to her, Angie has informed Moe and Chase of the information she read in Amy's diary, and the two rush over to Matt's house to save Jane. While they attempt to use stealth to steal the element of surprise, Matt is waiting for them, and a standoff ensues. When Jane startles Matt, the bullet he intends for Chase misses and hits Moe. Matt is initially shocked at his actions, but recovers quickly enough to catch Chase off guard and knock his gun out of his hands. The two fight, but Matt loses his balance and falls over the balcony, crashing on the ground below.

Moe recovers in the hospital, and Jane briefly leaves his side to attend Matt's funeral. She and Chase are the only visitors, and she reflects on the sad picture this paints of Matt's life. Coincidentally, this is also the day of the twins' birthday party and official entrance into their teen years, but Jane is delaying her attendance as much as possible. Seeing Moe in the hospital has hit her hard, and she has a hard time celebrating when he is stuck in a hospital bed. Chase tells her that he can no longer stay in Twinbrook, as the guilt over Matt's death and the grief over Amy's have been weighing heavily on him. The twins celebrate becoming teenagers with their friend Lucy, not knowing that it will be the last time they see her for a while. 


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