When midlife woes descend, a long-divorced couple find their paths merging again.
Many years ago, David Hedges and Julie Fiske had a short, sweet marriage. Then she lost a baby and he realized he was gay, and they parted ways. Now they haven't seen each other in almost 30 years. For much of that time, Julie's been married to her second husband, Henry, and raising their daughter, Mandy, in Beauport, a tourist town on the New England coast. But not only has Henry left her for another woman, he's now planning to sell their big, rambling Victorian out from under her. She needs that house: her sole means of support is her none-too-successful Airbnb. Then her surly teenage daughter goes digging in the basement and learns for the first time of her mother's earlier marriage, beginning the chain of events that leads to David and Julie's reunion. David is now a successful college admissions consultant in San Francisco, but his life has also hit a rough patch. His boyfriend has left him, he's put on weight, and it looks like he's about to be evicted from his apartment. When Julie reaches out in her hour of need, he decides to shelve his problems for a while and fly across the country to work on hers, which are quite a bit worse than she's aware of. As always, McCauley's (Insignificant Others, 2010, etc.) effervescent prose is full of wit and wisdom on every topic—college application essays, Airbnb operation, weed addiction, live porn websites, and, most of all, people. "When everything looks perfectly right about a person, there's usually something significantly wrong." "All couples start off as Romeo and Juliet and end up as Laurel and Hardy."
A gin and tonic for the soul.