BECAUSE I HAD TO asks “Where do I belong?”

Jess Porter spent her childhood bouncing from therapist to therapist and prescription to prescription. An outcast at school and a misfit at home, the only solace she ever found was in her relationship with her dad, Tom. Now he’s dead. Feeling rejected by her adopted mom and her biological twin sister, Jess runs off to South Florida. But she can’t outrun her old life. Watching the blood drip down her arm after her latest round of self-inflicted cutting, she decides her only choice is to find and face what frightens her most. Joe Becker is a successful divorce lawyer whose neat and tidy life was upended by his best friend, Tom’s, sudden death. When Tom’s daughter, Jess, calls, he can’t say no. But can this jaded attorney whose job it is to negotiate family breakups actually help Jess to find her true home? “BECAUSE I HAD TO” takes the reader inside the worlds of adoption, teen therapy, family law, and the search for a biological family. With a cast of finely drawn, complicated characters, it asks us to consider: can the present ever heal the past?