NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Hannah examines whether love and commitment are enough to sustain a marriage when two people who have put their individual dreams on ice get a chance to defrost them . . . in fast-moving prose punctuated by snappy asides.”—People
Elizabeth and Jackson Shore married young, raised two daughters, and weathered the storms of youth as they built a family. From a distance, their lives look picture perfect. But after the girls leave home, Jack and Elizabeth quietly drift apart. When Jack accepts a wonderful new job, Elizabeth puts her own needs aside to follow him across the country.
Then tragedy turns Elizabeth’s world upside down. In the aftermath, she questions everything about her life—her choices, her marriage, even her long-forgotten dreams. In a daring move that shocks her husband, friends, and daughters, she lets go of the woman she has become—and reaches out for the woman she wants to be.
Having found her audience with Summer Island and On Mystic Lake, Hannah returns with another second-chance-at-love story, this one as bleak as the soggy Pacific Northwest setting. Perimenopausal former artist Elizabeth Shore is feeling lost and miserable these days, as daughters Jamie and Stephanie matriculate at Georgetown and husband Jack focuses on jump-starting his stalled sports broadcasting career. So Elizabeth, tellingly nicknamed "Birdie," compulsively redecorates her empty nest and pesters Jack with lugubrious questions about what's wrong with their lives. Then Jack scores a journalistic coup, and in his implausibly meteoric return to broadcasting glory, winds up in an efficiency apartment in New York City, halfheartedly fending off the advances of both a nubile assistant and a Hollywood bombshell. Meanwhile, back in rainy Oregon, Birdie grieves for her beloved late father, joins a support group for "passionless" women, starts to paint again and talks to herself in the self-help homilies Hannah favors ("No more cheerleader years for me. I need to get in the game"). She even has a rapprochement with newly widowed stepmother Anita, who, in a particularly explosive burst of character development, somehow transforms from a tacky Southern "Bette Midler on speed" to a white-haired sylph favoring "long, flowing" white dresses. (When Birdie finds her bliss, she discovers she's miraculously lost weight.) Hannah's tried-and-true formula includes the predictable happy ending, complete with life lessons tearfully learned, but only hardcore fans will make it to the last page of this dreary soap. 6-city author tour.
I loved this book, it took me in first thing. The author made you feel for this couple. Laughed, cried made me feel good. Anyone over the age of 50 will enjoy this book.
Not up to Par
The female protagonist was weak. I had much higher hopes for a strong ending. Left me empty.
Awful. Truly depressingly, boringly, awful.
This is the author of The Great Alone and Nightingale? Impossible!