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At forty-two, Shelley Marino desperately wants a child. Though she and her husband and business partner, Martin, have tried over the course of their twenty-year marriage, their only hope now is adoption. Yet Martin, the father to two grown children from a previous marriage, suddenly is not sure that he can bear the emotional challenge of fatherhood again. When a Vietnamese baby becomes available, Shelley is faced with a terrible choice: the child or Martin.

Emigrating to America more than two decades ago, Xuan Mai has achieved all the accoutrements of the American dream: a healthy business, an SUV, a house without a mortgage. Yet success has not made her happy or allowed her to forget the terrible tragedy that forced her to leave Vietnam. Instead she has distanced herself from everyone around her—until she meets Shelley.

Falling into a fast, if sometimes uneasy, friendship, the pair will become closer as Mai accompanies Shelley to Vietnam to get the baby. But the trip will not be easy, for going home forces Mai to face the truth about her past. And Shelley is confronted with choices that will reverberate for the rest of her life. Lyrical and moving, If You Lived Here takes the reader on a journey as well, from loss to love, and shows how new beginnings can heal old wounds.

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