From #1 bestselling Irish author Cathy Kelly comes a witty, warmhearted novel about friendship, forgiveness, and second chances...
They say you can’t go home again, and truth be told, Eleanor Levine never planned to. Yet here she is, back in Ireland after a lifetime in New York, moving her treasured possessions—including her mother’s handwritten book of recipes for living—into a cozy Dublin apartment. With its picturesque Georgian villas, redbrick houses, and central garden, the Golden Square is just large enough for anonymity. At least, that’s what actress Megan Bouchier hopes, when a tabloid scandal sends her fleeing the paparazzi, back to the place she felt safest as a child.
Rae, manager of the local café, has noticed the lovely, sad-eyed girl. There’s little Rae doesn’t notice, and every customer feels nourished by her food and her kindness, yet Rae’s own secret remains hidden. Connie O’Callaghan—with her fortieth birthday looming—has a secure teaching job, an abundance of blessings...and a deep-seated loneliness only her new neighbor Eleanor understands. And as the lives of the four women intertwine, each in her own way is learning about love, letting go—and that finding your way can lead to the last place you expected.
Kelly (Lessons in Heartbreak) finds some life in the familiar setup of strangers brought together by fate to deal with tough luck. Eleanor Levine, an Irish-born, New York bred psychologist in the twilight of her life, heads to Dublin after her husband dies; Megan Bouchier, a famous actress, lands there after her fling with an older, married actor is splashed across the tabloids. Already living in Dublin's Golden Square are two additional souls in pain: Rae Kerrigan, who runs a charming tea room and mourns the baby girl she gave up four decades earlier, and teacher Connie O'Callaghan, whose loneliness is underscored when her younger sister and roommate gets engaged and quickly married. The four come together in a series of believable real-life ways, and as the stories intersect and their lives become intertwined, each woman sure before meeting the others that life as they knew it was over comes to believe that there is a purpose and a plan for everything. Given the familiar terrain, it would have been easy for Kelly to drift into clich ; what she has done instead is create a thoughtful panorama of four women doing their best to soldier on through tough times.