When Jack Manoli was a young man, he left his wife—and two children, Shelley and Mark—to marry his secretary, Sylvie. Years later, when Jack dies of cancer, Shelley has managed to find peace with her father, while Mark still clings to anger and abandonment. Further complicating matters, Jack bequeaths his and widowed Sylvie's summer home to Shelley and Mark. Now Sylvie, Mark, and Shelley must struggle to come to terms with one another and the past. This is an exceptionally well-crafted novel, a delicate story, and a fine exploration of divorce, forgiveness, happiness, and loss. The relationships between the characters are thoughtfully constructed, and Ward's decision to alternate among points of view provides an invaluable window to character growth and evolution. Perhaps the only underdeveloped character is Sylvie, who remains more an object (of love or resentment) than a fully realized individual. This is unfortunate, because it's her perspective that many readers will find most intriguing.
Reviewed on: 10/17/2011 Release date: 03/01/2011 Genre: Fiction