|'Minute pass,....' vs "Minutes passes, excruciatingly long minutes for Delia." and without the coma sounds better. Another thing about this sentence, from a parent's perspective; would a mother wait in the room or follow Walker's every step knowing that he's the key to the agonizing answers about her children? I think I'd be on his heals, everytime the phone rang, crying hysterically, looking at his every facial expression, knowing when he was/is telling me before his words exited his mouth.
I know that you may not want to present her as so, but, in reality, all rational behavior is out of the mind's door when a parent faces such morbid news of not only one, but their only two children's harm and especially in the face of death.
I can recall times when my children were late coming home from school...perverts, hit and runs, kidnappers...you name it, ran across my mind. Knowing they were in a plane that fell to the ground would have taken me over some edge unknown to me, thank God.
Excellent ending on Chpt 26. You did what a good author can do. You took us down very low and smoothly brought us back to a comfortable level so that we could continue reading without too many tears blinding our way. I almost cried with them as they cried and hugged and rejoiced. Again, that's the parent in me that felt all of this.
"Walker even offered Marie Shepherd a job as one of the pilots of his private plane, which she gratefully accepted."
*Wait a second here. Marie should be congratulated for landing safely but some dialogue on investigation should be explored here, I think. Who would offer a pilot that 'just' downed a plane a job so quickly?
Did you mean, 'To those withOUT a good imagination...." instead of 'with' here?
"To those with a good imagination, it was difficult to see where the building started and the trees ended."
The following paragraph is filled with so much about the backstory of this story that it's amazing to think that you did this on purpose, however, I know that you must have:
"Meanwhile, the four children brought here by their temporary foster parents stared around them in awe. They remembered living at the old orphanage, a place that was disgusting and dangerous but better by far than their original homes. Eventually the adults who helped run this orphanage would learn about the pasts of the four children. For now, though, the youngsters stood mute, afraid to believe this was their new home."
As the survivor of such a home where 'any other place' seemed like a paradise, you offer what 'our' fantasies consist of here at Hanah's Home. Thanks for letting me escape for a while as you gently took me aback and then back to reality. Excellent job here.