A Box in the Vault

A Box in the Vault

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Paulina Henning-Vanderpool receives a request from her ailing father, Jakob, to retrieve the contents of his safety deposit box located at the family's Manhattan bank. She expects to find legal documents and investment certificates to bring with her to Switzerland where Jakob has retired. Underneath the piles of paperwork, Paulina discovers a small box of letters with photographs and press clippings collected over several years. What she uncovers is evidence of a secret love affair that happened years earlier between her father and a woman whose face is very familiar to Paulina. Her name is Olivia Desjardins, the designer who created Heather Siobhan, a fashion accessory label known for its Polynesian and Hawaiian inspired jewelry, handbags and shoes. Growing up, Paulina had been artistically inclined, and her parents were often told to enroll their daughter in enrichment programs to develop Paulina's talent. When Paulina discovered Heather Siobhan at 15 she became such a fan of the label that she was determined to become a fashion designer after high school. Her plans were dashed when Jakob threatened to not pay her tuition unless she studied accounting. Paulina had always wanted to meet Olivia and wondered why her father had been so angry about her creative aspirations. If there was any consolation for Paulina in adhering to Jakob's demands, it was meeting and marrying her true love, Christopher, during business school. A week later, a still confused Paulina flies to Zurich to visit a terminally ill Jakob. After going over his legal and financial matters, Paulina confronts her father about the personal contents of the letter box she found in New York. She is surprised when he calmly replies, "I always wanted to tell you about Olivia but I couldn't. You were such a big fan of her designs as a teenager. I knew it would really bother if you learned about us. You talked about wanting to meet her all the time. Had you known about it back then you would have pleaded with me to introduce you to her because she designed most of the shoes and handbags in your closet. Your bedroom was filled with her products. I wouldn't have been able to but couldn't tell you why. Every time I bought you one of her designs I wanted to say something. This was the only way to finally tell you everything that happened between us. Paulina, I need you to convince her to see me before I die." Jakob describes to Paulina about his surprise connection with Olivia and their sudden separation when he was offered a lucrative job in Europe. He reveals to her about a child that Olivia miscarried shortly after he left California, that the Heather Siobhan design collection got its name from the one Olivia wanted to give the daughter she was expecting, and why grief led Olivia to launch her label after moving to Hawaii a year later. Paulina also learns why Jakob was so vehemently against her pursuing a fashion career after high school despite her own creative talents: He feared she would meet Olivia and become a target of her hostility. Now, Jakob needs his daughter to help him see Olivia one more time. He wants to make peace and find out the truth about the child they lost. Jakob has wondered for years if Olivia really miscarried or had an abortion. Being reminded of her childhood wish for a sibling causes Paulina to have her own vested interest in contacting the woman who had been one of her teenage heroines. As Jakob's health worsens, Paulina has to act fast and convince Olivia to fly from Hawaii to Switzerland with her. Conflicted between telling Olivia the truth about her identity and fulfilling Jakob's wishes, Paulina herself is confronted with the intense brew of her own mixed emotions. Just as she finds herself confronting the very human side of her father through Olivia's memories, Paulina faces losing him forever just as Olivia once did. **A Box in the Vault is dedicated to OneMama.org founded by Siobhan Neilland in San Francisco**
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Product details

  • Paperback | 218 pages
  • 127 x 203.2 x 12.7mm | 299.37g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508488800
  • 9781508488804

About Charlotte Harcing-soigne

Charlotte Harcing-Soigne grew up in the Plains and Rockies before settling in Southern California."
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