De los Santos’s heartfelt latest (after I'll Be Your Blue Sky) illustrates how tragedy can be overcome by love, honesty, and forgiveness. In 1997, the bonds of teenage Virginia “Zinny” Beale’s friend group are tested after the death of Zinny’s boyfriend Gray’s father, a firefighter who died putting out a fire. Soon after, Zinny overhears a fight between her mother, Adela, and Zinny’s beloved older brother, Trevor. Trevor loathes Adela, a wealthy, steely matron, and after his fights with Adela persist, he leaves for college and never returns. The tension at home causes Zinny to withdraw from her friends, including Gray. Twenty years later, Zinny is Ginny Beale McCue, married to the bland, dependable Harris. After Harris loses his job due to a scandal resulting from affectionate emails he sent to an 18-year-old intern, Ginny turns her attention to their precocious 15-year-old daughter, Avery. As Avery investigates her father’s behaviors, Ginny looks back on her regrets about losing cherished teenaged friendships and her decision to settle with Harris. Thoughtful musings, engaging dialogue, and ironic wit (“it has adult bone structure,” Harris says, defensively describing his intern’s face) add to the drama. De los Santos’s seemingly light tale is full of surprises. (May)
Correction: An earlier version of this review listed the incorrect title for the author's previous book.
Reviewed on : 02/12/2020 Release date: 05/01/2020 Genre: Fiction
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