Posted: Friday, April 5, 2013, 8:32 am
All is not what it first may seem in this heart-wrenching novel of love, loss and family secrets.
Do you ever have those lulls where nothing you pick up seems appealing enough to keep reading? A reading rut, if you will? Well, this was the book that pulled me out of my reading rut last month. I wanted to write it off as a cheesy romance because of its title, but the historical setting and intriguing plot had me hooked from page one.
Set in the early 70's, the story revolves around Lucy Painter, a fairly successful children's book author and single mother who lives in New York City with her adolescent daughter and young son, Maggie and Felix. Lucy has worked hard to create a magical, if not sheltered, life for her children because she lost her father to suicide at a very young age. Wanting to protect them from the hurt and loss she experienced, Lucy does not reveal anything about her father's death or the identity of her children's father.
This, friends, is where the plot begins to thicken. You see, the father of Lucy's children is Reuben Frank, who just so happens to be her editor. He is involved in their lives-- the kids know him as Uncle Reuben-- even though he is married with a family of his own. When Lucy realizes Reuben has no intention of leaving his family for hers, she decides to pack up and move to a rental property in D.C. that she inherited from her mother.
Things get really interesting when the reserved and private Lucy finds her family in the middle of a neighborhood clique that seems very close-knit and inviting, yet harbor many secrets. Throw in the backdrop of the Watergate scandal, Maggie's persistent questions about her father's identity, a scholarly shut-in who is researching Lucy's neighborhood history and a nosy, crazy neighborhood clique of moms and, well, let's just say that every family harbors their own dark secrets.
This book does a great job of examining just how far people will go to protect those they love the most from harm. It's a perfect choice on a cozy wint… er, spring day and would also make for a fantastic vacation read.