Family dynamics change when a husband abandons his wife and two children.
Nutritionist Eve Adams has gradually become her family’s primary emotional and financial support while husband Eric struggles with his identity as an artist, businessperson and family man. Following an evening out to celebrate Eve’s successful publication of a book, Eric volunteers to drive the baby sitter back to her apartment. Instead of returning home, however, he embarks on a cross-country trip from Massachusetts to Arizona to deliver the baby sitter to her terminally ill mother and to visit his own mother. Like many women in her position, Eve is forced to come to terms with her new role. Now, she truly is in charge of her family’s future, and she must learn how to juggle parenting, career and friendships. She must make decisions that are difficult and painful at times, but with these feelings are moments of exhilaration and self-fulfillment. Her 14-year-old daughter, Magnolia, has entered the difficult stage so many parents have trouble understanding, and Eve is caught between wanting to allow her daughter the independence she demands while still trying to protect her from the greater evils of the world. Her son, Danny, 8, remains blessedly naïve and sweet, but he spends hours playing video games and takes little interest in other activities. Meanwhile, Eric remains in Arizona, and Eve ignores his efforts to communicate with her. And, once confident in her career, Eve now worries that she is not doing enough to help her clients. The author’s portrayal of Eve as a woman who has no choice but to muddle through and do the best she can will resonate with many women who have been in, or are going through, similar circumstances.
Hanauer delivers a novel that is rich with relatable characters, realistic in its approach and highly readable.