The prolific Carr (A Summer in Sonoma) explores the implosion of the marriages of four women with painful secrets living in the same neighborhood, in this juicy deliberation on getting your groove back amid domestic chaos, hormonal imbalance, and crushing depression. Within a matter of months, the rock-solid marriage of Gerri, a social worker, and her husband Phil, a public defender, cracks under the weight of an old infidelity; divorcee Andy takes on Bob, an unlikely lover, who teaches her about the beauty of “wanting what you have”; New Age dilettante Sonja loses her mind but finds her balance; and mysterious B.J. moves into the neighborhood hoping to hide a hideous past. Carr expertly juggles the drama of these richly drawn female characters—and the men and kids who, improbably, sweetly adore them. The women are instantly recognizable—outwardly comfortable and secure even as they privately battle demons. It’s here that the author lingers for a closer look—at domestic abuse, gay children, spouses, mental illness, lagging libido, extramarital affairs, grief, and parenting troubled teens. It’s tricky terrain, but Carr leads with confidence, and the path, though familiar, is fresh and inviting. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/2014 Release date: 03/25/2014 Genre: Fiction
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