In a summer cottage on the coast of Maine, an unlikely love was nurtured, a marriage endured, and a family survived. Now it is time for the children of that marriage to make peace with the wounds and the treasures left to them. And to sort out which is which.
The complicated marriage of the gifted Danish pianist Laurus Moss to the provincial American child of privilege Sydney Brant was a mystery to many who knew them, including their three children. Now Eleanor, Monica, and Jimmy Moss have to decide how to divide or share what Laurus and Sydney have left them without losing one another.
Gutcheon concludes the Moss family saga that began with Leeway Cottage in a disappointing fashion. Laurus and Sydney Brant Moss have died, and it's up to their three children, Eleanor, Monica and Jimmy, to divide up the estate. Naturally, the process exposes old frictions and creates new ones while sparking reminiscences of their lives, notably concerning their difficult relationships with their prickly mother, who hid venom beneath a veneer of social graciousness. The narration is many-voiced; the siblings, their spouses and children, their friends and neighbors, and even the dead contribute to the storytelling. While the points-of-view of the living are maddeningly self-involved, the dead really seem to understand what's going on. The effect is both tragic and mildly amusing, but gradually, it becomes difficult to feel for the characters. Though the novel is beautifully written, the narrative becomes frustrating and claustrophobic repetitive as it wears on.
Goodbye and Amen
Very different approach to story telling. I'm not sure how to rate this book. I might have enjoyed it more if I had read Leeway Cottage first which tells the story of the parents whose children are the main voices here. The entire book is told with a variety of characters speaking which is often very confusing. I was constantly looking back to the front of the book to review the family tree. I enjoyed the book enough to give it 3 stars, but not sure I would pay $10.99 for it. I got mine at a used book library sale.