One fractured family. One summer house. One heart-wrenching novel.
I began reading this book expecting a light summer read about three generations of women. What I didn’t expect was a book that would make me cry in my car. Did I mention this was an audiobook? No? Moving forward, the narrator was fantastic. Her Boston accent was wonderful and she managed to make each character distinctive. I now long for a geographically distinctive drawl to my own voice and may have to make one up.
The novel itself is equally lovely. It takes place over the course of a single summer in a vacation compound along the coast of Maine. With much in common to the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, you aren’t surprised by how the marriage of the grandmother, Alice, turns out or what her relationship with alcohol or her daughters is like. Even a granddaughter who writes is almost identical to Well’s novel. What is different is the lack of sisterhood. These women all live fairly isolated lives. Their inability to communicate with others is what makes this piece unique and moving. Relationships with siblings are complicated enough.
Descriptions of warm, Maine summers with crisp mornings and croissants left me longing for summer already. Or at least a trip up to Kennebunkport (go to Federal Jack’s and get the clam chowder!)
Most certainly a book to add to your summer reading list, if not your winter.