This is set primarily in the 50s and 60s. It centers around Nick and her (yes, her) cousin Helena. Nick has married Hughes, a man who was changed by his experiences in the war; Helena married Avery, a man who seems pretty worthless. Each had a kid (Nick and Hughes had Daisy; Helena and Avery had Ed. Daisy is normal and Ed is a complete freak. Seriously. That kid is a sociopath). The story is narrated by (in order) Nick, Daisy, Helena, Hughes and Ed.
This was a unique story and it’s hard to classify. On the one hand, it’s sort of Big Chill-esque in terms of how it seems like the life that you end up living is typically so different from the life you expect when you’re younger. And it delves into the complicated relationships you find in pretty much every family.
And there’s the fact that Daisy and Ed find a body. It’s not a murder mystery; the body isn’t even the most interesting thing in the book. Even so, dead bodies make for interesting conversations.
The character I liked the most was Daisy. No real surprise. Her parents each have their own secrets. No one in the book—except for Ed—is bad, per se, but they are all selfish in their own way. (But I think that’s part of being human, right?)
I’m fascinated by family stories, whether they have to do with husbands and wives, parents and children or siblings. This involves all of those (while Helena and Nick are technically cousins, their relationship is much more like sisters).
This is an incredibly interesting book, one that’s a perfect summer read. Recommended.