In the story as is, the POV character is Sara. She's a latecomer to this group; she has become family, but still, there's a lot of the past that she's just not privy to. So a bunch of the story is just Sara piecing the past together. And then she sort of swoops in and Fixes It.
Which is a valid story, but. It makes her a really passive character for most of the book. It's Sara being told a story.
The bigger problem, from my perspective, is what slipjig calls "Sara ex machina" - that she rides into town and saves the day. That, and she's very much a self-insertion character. Not a Mary Sue. And not even the character who bears the most of me in her. That would be long-gone Crystal, the Janet standin who failed.
But it feels very much to me like the character of Sara is an attempt on my part to go back and fix the mess that my abrupt departure left.
And it feels more right, and more natural, to leave that absence be. To let that community evolve organically around the loss of Kellen and Crystal, and the newfound responsibility for baby Kaylin. Instead of having someone else come in and save the day, I'd rather have the characters who were directly affected by the events seven years ago sort it out. And... I have evolved beyond feeling like it's my job to save everyone. Haltingly, with great difficulty. But that's part of what last summer's Vegas trip brought me.
Sara's still there, and still learning what happened. But the POV character is now Doodle. Because he's got an interestingly tilted worldview, he's been there all along, he's Kaylin's adoptive dad, and he's the one talking.
I'll post snippets later or tomorrow. :)