This story is told in the voice of a grown man named Danny who spent the early years of his life living in a large, unique home in suburban Philadelphia which his father purchased as a surprise gift for his altruistic wife without first consulting her. Although the gift was given out of love, the wife rejects everything it represents in her eyes and avoids being at home as much as possible. One thing leads to another and Cyril, the husband, along with the couple’s two children, find themselves abandoned by the wife and mother.
Danny is so young when his mother leaves without saying goodbye, that he has no memories of her. However, it is not the same for his older sister Maeve. She remembers her mother long afterward.
The story goes back and forth in time with many upheavals in the family as the years go by. Cyril takes a new wife with two small daughters of her own. The new wife’s newfound wealth and home redefine her place in the world. Unfortunately, it’s a place where she resents her stepchildren and their lives are forever changed.
The novel is an emotional rags to riches to rags story. I hesitate to tell all of it here because it’s one I couldn’t put down! To say the least, it touched my heart. There’s a movie planned and I’ll be looking forward to the film adaptation. It is expertly written and I highly recommend it!