From the author of A Little Hope—a Read with Jenna Bonus Pick—comes another “heartwarming, character-driven” (Booklist) life-affirming novel about three individuals whose lives intersect in unforeseen ways.
Set in a close-knit suburb in the grip of winter, A Quiet Life follows three people grappling with loss and finding a tender wisdom in their grief.
Chuck Ayers used to look forward to nothing so much as his annual trip to Hilton Head with his wife, Cat—that yearly taste of relaxation they’d become accustomed to after a lifetime of working and raising two children. Now, just months after Cat’s death, Chuck finds that he can’t let go of her belongings—her favorite towel, the sketchbooks in her desk drawer—as he struggles to pack for a trip he can’t imagine taking without her.
Ella Burke delivers morning newspapers and works at a bridal shop to fill her days while she anxiously awaits news—any piece of information—about her missing daughter. Ella adjusts to life in a new apartment and answers every call on her phone, hoping her daughter will reach out.
After the sudden death of her father, Kirsten Bonato set aside her veterinary school aspirations, finding comfort in the steady routine of working at an animal shelter. But as time passes, old dreams and new romantic interests begin to surface—and Kirsten finds herself at another crossroads.
In this beautiful and profoundly moving novel, three parallel narratives converge in poignant and unexpected ways, as each character bravely presses onward, trying to recover something they have lost. Emotionally riveting and infused with hope, “the soothing tone and warm worldview of this grown-up bedtime story will be good for what ails you” (Kirkus Reviews).
Three people navigate different kinds of grief in the sentimental latest from Joella (A Little Hope). Chuck Ayers, a Vietnam veteran and recent widower, dithers over whether to go alone on the annual trip he took with his wife, Cat, from Pennsylvania to Hilton Head, S.C., and replays in his mind a fight he'd had years ago with Cat involving his disapproval of her support for a young aspiring artist. Kirsten Bonato, whose father was murdered as a bystander during an armed robbery, works at an animal rescue and tries to sort out her crush on her boss, who's going through an acrimonious divorce, and her pleasant, casual dating of a hunky coworker. Ella Burke delivers papers and works tedious shifts at a bridal store, trying to stay busy in hopes she's ready if her eight-year-old daughter, Riley, who was kidnapped three months earlier by her ex-husband, is ever found. Turns out Kristen is a former student of Cat's, and Chuck bumps into her while visiting the animal rescue where Kristen works. Later, Chuck impulsively gives Ella his second car after seeing her fall while she delivers his paper. The interconnections feel manufactured, though as the characters make small progress in their efforts to move on from their pain and dilemmas, Joella builds toward a convincing set of resolutions. Readers might feel like they've been here before, but it's comforting nonetheless.