When a devoted single mom discovers she has ovarian cancer, her own health is the least of her worries. What will happen to her daughter?
Alice’s parents died before Zoe was born, and her brother, Paul, a practicing alcoholic, has not been much help. Raising her daughter alone has been tough but rewarding, and Alice even managed to start her own business helping the elderly with their daily activities. With no father figure in sight, Zoe has come to rely heavily on Alice, particularly since she began exhibiting signs of social anxiety disorder on the first day of kindergarten. Now 15, Zoe has only one friend at school. But Emily pushes Zoe to go on a double date, and Zoe’s panic attack leaves her utterly alone. Luckily for Zoe, a few new fans lurk in the wings, including a mysterious new school psychologist and Harry, the erstwhile football player who has suddenly begun paying attention to her. Meanwhile Alice has begun to realize the magnitude of her predicament, so she, too, needs help. Enter Kate and Sonja. Kate, Alice’s nurse, is recently married, having gained not only a loving husband, but also his son and daughter. Desperate to have a baby of her own, she’s on her third round of in vitro fertilization, but another miscarriage has her marriage on rocky terrain. Sonja, Alice’s social worker, has a seemingly perfect marriage to a psychologist, but Sonja is beginning to worry that her husband’s rough sexual behavior might actually amount to rape. Hepworth intertwines these women’s stories, taking the notion that it takes a village to raise a child another step: it takes a village to raise each woman up over her own tribulations. Saccharine at times, the tale’s threads knot up a bit too easily and implausibly.
A sentimental parable about the power of motherhood, friendship, and love.