One of TIME magazine's best summer reads, a "wise" (Entertainment Weekly) and "resplendent" (O, The Oprah Magazine) debut that follows a new widower confronting the truth about his long marriage.
After the sudden death of his wife, Maida, Gene is haunted by the fear that their marriage was not all it appeared to be. Alongside Ed and Gayle Donnelly, friends since college days, he tries to resurrect happy memories of the times the two couples shared, raising their children in a small New Hampshire town and vacationing together at a lake house every summer.
Meanwhile, his daughter, Dary, challenges not only his happy version of the past but also his view of Maida. As a long-standing rift between them deepens, Gene starts to understand how unknown his daughter is to him -- and how enigmatic his wife was as well. And a lingering suspicion seizes his mind that could upend everything he thought he knew.
Katharine Dion's assured debut moves seamlessly between Gene's present-day journey and the long history of a marriage and friendship. Rich and wonderfully alive, The Dependents is the most moving kind of drama, an intimate glance into the expanse of family life and the way we must all eventually bridge the chasm between what we want to believe and what we know to be true.
Death and unavoidable truth shatter the serene surface of a man's golden years in Dion's fine debut, set in the hills of New Hampshire. Gene Ashe's wife dies suddenly, leaving Gene to sort through the physical and emotional remnants of their life. Their 49-year marriage was entwined from the start with college friends Ed and Gayle Donnelly, but Gene is beginning to question the nature of their friendship. As they reminisce about raising their children in the same small town, Gene is forced to reconsider past events and grapple with choices that left him disconnected from family and friends. Gene's daughter, Dary, meanwhile, remains emotionally distant from him and doesn't want to hear his entreaties about why she should get married instead of having a child as a single parent. Amid his grief and the realization that he can't remember when life started to feel so hollow, Gene stumbles into an unexpected relationship. But without his wife's companionship, new doubts constantly arise, and Gene must understand what in his life is worth living for and what made him worth loving: "love was not enough... but now it was too late for him to adopt a new delusion." The narrative travels back and forth through Gene's life as he tries to pick apart the performative from the heartfelt acts of love. The result is a beautiful story of communication and commitment.
This book was very long….not because of the number of pages, but it felt to me like when is this all going to finish. I almost couldn’t get through it….