This is a series of interconnected stories, mostly centering around Greta, her husband Phillip and their daughter Charlotte. Phillip cheats on Greta, which (not surprisingly) leads them to separate. Greta isn’t ready to get divorced, necessarily, but she doesn’t want to be with him right now, either.
I don’t generally read short stories and I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book if it weren’t written by Molly Ringwald. I said that to say this: this book is AMAZING. You know how there are authors who you know only get book deals because they’re famous (SNOOKI)? Molly Ringwald is not that author.
Each story felt real (for lack of a better word). Greta and Phillip (and the other characters we meet) seem like people I knew, more like…well, PEOPLE…and not just words on a page.
While I was completely invested in Greta and Phillip’s story, I think my favorite was “My Olivia,” which is about a woman raising a son by herself. (The boy, Oliver, is Charlotte’s best friend and so Phillip and Greta are in here, too.) Oliver is very young but he’s determined that he was supposed to be a girl and is insistent upon being called Olivia and getting to wear dresses and scarves.
I think it’s one of the most beautiful testaments to a parent’s love for their child that they will allow them to be who they are, even if “who they are” isn’t who the parent expects them to be. Obviously you want to protect your kids from harm (and society can surely harm you, if you’re different) but there’s nothing more harmful than making your kid be something they’re not.
This is a gorgeous novel-in-stories. Highly recommended.