A story about unconditional love, loss and renewal by bestselling author Genova (Left Neglected, 2011, etc.).
Nantucket residents Beth Ellis and Olivia Donatelli have both experienced life-shattering events that have left them raw and wounded and questioning everything that they ever believed to be true. Beth was married to Jimmy for 14 years, and they shared a seemingly normal life with their three daughters, until Jimmy had an affair and moved out. Olivia’s son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at a young age, and she and her husband, David, were just coming to terms with his condition when Anthony suddenly died at age 8. Like many couples, instead of drawing together to face grief, Olivia and David pushed each other away and eventually divorced. As Olivia turns to photography to earn a living and spends her time trying to understand the meaning of Anthony’s short time on earth, Beth picks up a pen and reconnects with a passion she’s long forgotten: writing. Ensconced in a comfortable area of the library, Beth writes a story inspired by a long-ago memory of a child placing stones end to end on the beach. It’s the story of a young autistic boy with humor and intelligence and exuberance for life, who through her, can voice his thoughts and feelings and allow others to see into his world. And as she shares these words with Olivia, they provide the strength and understanding and purpose that both women need to come to terms with the past and move on with their lives.
There’s a point in the narrative where one of the characters becomes so engrossed in reading a book that she loses track of time. Readers of Genova’s latest excellent offering might very well find the same happening to them.