Perfect for fans of Maeve Binchy' - Candis
It was the year that changed everything. . .
When Susannah Nelson turned eighteen, she said goodbye to her boyfriend, Jake–and never saw him again. She never saw her brother, Doug, again, either. He died unexpectedly that same year. Now, at fifty, Susannah finds herself regretting the paths not taken. Long married, a mother and a teacher, she should be happy. But she feels there's something missing in her life. Not only that, she's balancing the demands of an aging mother and a temperamental twenty-year-old daughter.
Her mother, Vivian, a recent widow, is having difficulty coping and living alone, so Susannah goes home to Colville, Washington. In returning to her parents' house, her girlhood friends and the garden she's always loved, she also returns to the past–and the choices she made back then. What she discovers is that things are not always as they once seemed. Some paths are dead ends. But some gardens remain beautiful. . . .
From Publishers Weekly
Bestselling author Macomber (There's Something About Christmas
) explores the intricate dynamics of family with sincerity and wit in this well-crafted novel. At 50, Seattleite Susannah Nelson is unsatisfied with her American dream: she's got a devoted husband, two teenage children and a rewarding career teaching fifth grade. She's also got a recently deceased father, a mother increasingly unable to care for herself,and recurring dreams about her high school sweetheart, Jake Presley, who disappeared around the time of the death of her brother, Doug, 30 years ago. Returning to her hometown of Colville, Wash., over the summer to look after her mother, Susannah has an ulterior motive: to find Jake. As she orchestrates her mother's rocky move to a nursing home and tries to keep track of her household (particularly her petulant daughter, recently taken with shiftless townie Troy Nance), Susannah picks up Jake's trail with the help of a private investigator and a childhood friend. As tension mounts between Susannah and her family, she uncovers the shocking details of Jake's disappearance—and of Doug's death—and ultimately faces her long-buried resentment toward her father. Macomber excels at detailing family conflict and the resulting tangle of regret and anger, but her God's-eye-view keeps her characters at arm's length, showing readers their emotional complexity rather than providing a view from within. (May)
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