The novel centers around Maura, her husband Pete and her parents, Margaret and Roger. Neither marriage is as strong as it could be, but both are going along more or less fine. And then something horrible happens (I will say what in my review, because I think it’s important for some to know what that is, as it could be a trigger event) and all four of them are tested in ways they wouldn’t have thought possible.
In an interview in the back of the book, Lee Woodruff says that the book isn’t so much about tragedy as it is how people tend to move on from said tragedy. It’s not about sadness and grief; it’s about resiliency.
Maura is out with her kids when her oldest son is hit by a car and later dies. I don’t generally like to do spoilers, but I have friends who should know that this is a book where the kid dies. It’s also important to know that what I said above, about this being a book about resiliency, is true. This is not a wallowing book. Of course, it’s not like everyone is fine two chapters later. It shows what this event does to a marriage and what it does to a parent and grandparent. But it also shows that they go on. Because you have to; you can’t NOT go on.
This was compared to Anna Quindlen and I don’t think Lee Woodruff is there yet. But this is still incredibly good and emotionally honest. It would have been very easy for this to become a Lifetime movie and she never let it get there.