Have you ever experienced something so devastating it changed not only the way you live, but also what you believe? Once Upon a Day, the third novel by writer Lisa Tucker, is a dark, passionate tale about what can happen when the course of one's life is interrupted by the events of a solitary day.
In the beginning, life was heavenly in the City of Angels for Charles Keenan, a screenwriter and director, and his beautiful bride Lucy Dobbins, a poor girl turned actress from Missouri. Their story reads like a fairy tale: Prince Charming marries Cinderella. It would seem Charles had enough fame and fortune to provide his family with a lifetime of security. But neither his money nor his power was enough to prevent violence from touching his home and family.
After their paradise is lost, Charles disappears, taking their two children, Dorothea and Jimmy, to a remote area of New Mexico, where he raises them without contact with the outside world in a mansion he calls the Sanctuary. Both children are left with only vague memories of their mother, and Jimmy is haunted by nightmares of her lying in a pool of blood, but Charles refuses to talk about what happened to her.
Nineteen years later, cabdriver Stephen Spaulding is just doing his job the day he picks up 23-year-old Dorothea at the St. Louis bus station. He has no intention of getting personal with this strange young woman wearing outdated clothes—the former doctor has avoided getting close to people since the day a tragic accident took the lives of his wife and child. However, Stephen unwittingly becomes involved in Dorothea's life as she looks for her missing brother, who left the Sanctuary in search of information about their mother. Together, they unravel the mystery surrounding her family's past, while discovering their own world of love. Tucker has a stylish, authentic way of revealing how it only takes one day for a person to lose hope or regain it.