Brown's debut knocks it out of the park with a double-barreled travelogue: one scaling the depths of depression and grief, and the other trekking through lush vacation spots in Thailand, Italy, and Hawaii. Twenty-six-year-old kindergarten teacher Tegan Lawson and her law-school graduate husband, Gabe, expecting their first child, have everything to look forward to. Then an accident ends the pregnancy and shatters those dreams. Three months after the tragedy, "Tegan & Gabe's Jar of Spontaneity" provides three getaway ideas that the young lovers had once stashed for when "life feels like it's dragging us down": getting a painting by an elephant in Bangkok; taking a cooking class in Ravello, Italy, the hometown of Gabe's mother; and learning to surf in Maui. Though the tragedy literally hangs from Tegan's neck in a small urn-like pendant, she slowly begins to forgive herself and Gabe for the deadly accident, the subsequent depression that leads to an attempted suicide, and her nagging fear that somehow she will forget she was ever so in love. Brown wraps up an impressive study of loss, reconciliation, and brave choices with a stunning, three-hanky ending. A strong ensemble of supporting characters fills out this impressive story that carries away the reader's heart and imagination. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 10/19/2015 Release date: 08/25/2015 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.