Elliott’s excellent first novel, set in England’s Beckford Gardens, is a gentle yet unflinching look inside the heads of two very different characters whose paths cross when their lives are turning upside-down. Miriam Delaney, 35, hasn’t gone farther than her backyard in three years, and has yet to deal with multiple traumas inflicted by her now-dead, allegedly insane mother and her father’s supposed death. Meanwhile, Ralph Swoon, 37, feels adrift in his marriage and his life. When Miriam finally gets up the guts to go out her front door, a summer storm drives her and Ralph to a chance meeting in the woods. The shy Miriam and confused Ralph find a rare connection and confidant in each other. While there are many perspective changes, the story flows seamlessly between characters and story lines. The characters’ psyches are fascinating and complex, and the plot’s curveballs give enough to keep the reader engaged to the very end. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/22/2017 Release date: 07/25/2017 Genre: Fiction
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