By Mary Beth Keane
5 out of 5 stars
This one is on all of the lists of summer and deservedly so. I was pulled into the lives of the Gleeson and Stanhope families from the beginning and had a hard time closing the book on them in the end. They are two different families brought together by one tragedy that changes them in so many ways. It tackles the subject of mental illness and alcohol abuse with grace and dignity. It is written in such a way that even the most heinous thing that happens is not made to seem sensationalized or black and white. Through all of it, Kate and Peter know they belong together. It was hard to watch Peter throughout the book. His mother’s illness had shut him off so completely, even though he loved Kate, to showing any kind of emotion. It was the 70s and mental illness was not talked about. It seemed as if it was swept under the rug and everyone went about their merry way, pretending it wasn’t there. At least it wasn’t happening to them. In the beginning. I really felt no sympathy for Anne but as her story is told, my heart broke for her. Having lived with alcohol abuse in our family, I so understood Kate. I understood every nuance and every fear.
This is such a beautifully written book. They are messy families living in a messy world and they are oh so real. I loved the journey through the years and I always love a story with heartfelt redemption. The scene towards the end in the restaurant really touched my heart and everything made sense.
Thanks to Netgalley and Scribner for a copy of this wonderful book.