The Paramour's Daughter by Wendy Hornsby.*
Maggie is still mourning the death of her husband, Mike Flint, and has been throwing herself into her work to keep from brooding. Not thrilled about her first Thanksgiving without him, she stops at the market late on Thanksgiving eve to pick up supplies for the dish she'll be taking to dinner at her mother's the next day. On her way into the store, she is stopped by a strange woman who claims that Maggie is her daughter, Marguerite.
Knowing this to be untrue, Maggie catches the attention of the store's security guards, and the woman is escorted out. The next morning, a news report of a hit-and-run in the area makes Maggie think it might be that woman, and it is.
She gives all the information she has to the police, and heads to Berkeley to spend the holiday with her family. But later that day, she discovers that the woman, Isabelle, was indeed, her mother.
Suddenly, everything Maggie has known about herself is false, and she decides to deliver Isabelle's ashes to France herself so she can meet her biological family. But when she gets there, she discovers a web of deceit and machinations which indicate that Isabelle's death may not have been an accident.
Along with Maggie's history, we learn something of the history of France and its arcane inheritance laws. Hornsby's prose is exquisite, and the joy of reading the book came to an end much too quickly. More Maggie McGowen, please!
*Many thanks to Perseverance Press for the Advance Reading Copy.