Terms of Surrender is a story about when coming of age arrives late.
On Harlow Ausby’s fortieth birthday, she still feels as out of place in polished Charleston as the moon in a midday sky. From her strawberry-red hair to the matching birthmark that seems to swallow her left leg, Harlow’s uncommon looks have always made her feel less than worthy of the image-conscious Ausby name. As her often cruel and critical mother, Vivian, lies dying in a hospital bed, Harlow reexamines the choices—or lack thereof—that have brought her to a crossroads in her life. She is freshly divorced from a social climber she never loved, nursing a newly empty nest, and shocked to run into the love of her life—a man whose heart she broke twenty years earlier—and his wife, her former best friend.
What she doesn’t realize is that everything is about to change.
Over the course of one monumental day, a secret as old as Harlow surfaces. Moving from the present to the past and then back again, Harlow’s story explores rich female friendships, deep rifts between mothers and daughters, and simmering under-the-surface social scandal.
Terms of Surrender is a novel that women will want to discover, because it’s a story they may already know. They just haven’t read it yet.