When June arrives on the coast of New England, baby in arms, an untrustworthy man by her side, Mabel--who rents them a cabin--senses trouble. Read more...
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Publisher: HighBridge Audio$29.99
When June arrives on the coast of New England, baby in arms, an untrustworthy man by her side, Mabel--who rents them a cabin--senses trouble. A few days later, the girl and her child are abandoned.
June is soon placed with Mabel's friend, Iris, in town, and her life becomes entwined with a number of locals who have known one another for decades: a wealthy recluse with a tragic past; a widow in mourning; a forsaken daughter returning for the first time in years, with a stranger in tow; a lawyer, whose longings he can never reveal; and a kindly World War II veteran who serves as the town's sage. Surrounded by the personal histories and secrets of others, June finds the way forward for herself and her son amid revelations of the others' pasts, including loves--and crimes--from years ago.
In vivid, nuanced prose, Melanie Wallace--"a writer with a tender regard for the marginal, the missing and the lost"*--explores the time-tested bonds of a small community, the healing power of friendship and love, and whether the wrongs of the past can ever be made right.
* Hilary Mantel
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-11-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Set in the mid-1970s at an unnamed beach enclave, Wallaces (The Housekeeper) powerful novel centers on June, a young girl who is abandoned at a coastal motel with her infant child, Luke, and taken in by the motels aging owner, Mabel. Following a cast of characters who are all emotionally hindered by the traumas of the past, the narrative switches perspectives chapter by chapter. Mabel, who is trying to move on after the death of her husband, is ready to close up the motel for the off-season when Junes plight changes her plans. Iris, Mabels reclusive friend with dark secrets in her past, repays Mabel for a long-ago favor by sheltering June after the motel closes for the off-season. Duncan, Iriss lawyer, helps June settle in while also trying to maintain the tenuous relationship between Iris and her estranged daughter, Claire. Sam, a disfigured Vietnam vet who has abandoned his prewar life, takes up Claires offer to drive her from New York back to her childhood home. Though it is a dim journey for most of the characters, the book focuses on the resiliency of the human spirit. Wallace makes use of long, unconfined sentences to build the many distinctive voices and has a knack for teasing out important details. This is a quiet, contemplative novel that builds slowly and leaves a lasting impact. Agent: Claudia Cross, Folio Literary Management. (Jan.)