Scott’s debut family drama spotlights the ebb and flow of relationships between parents, spouses, siblings, and others as they navigate the immovable forces of life.
Dave and Debbie are no strangers to the strains of time, money, and work demands on a marriage. At the novel’s outset, Dave is plagued by the long hours that are typical of modern, white-collar America, frequently forgetting the time of night—and his family—as he juggles numbers at his financial job. Debbie, stressed by her double workload of caring for their adolescent children, Aidan and Summer, and covering long night shifts as a nurse at the local hospital, begins having her doubts as to whether their relationship can hold up. After some heated discussion, Dave resolves to spend more time with his family and less time at the office. Dave, Debbie, Aidan, and Summer set off together to Debbie’s parents’ lake house for a relaxing weekend together. However, Dave, lost in thought, nearly swerves off the road at a hairpin bend. As the story progresses, each member of the brood becomes embroiled in challenging personal dramas: Summer suffers her first real heartbreak; Debbie is tempted by the adoration of a colleague; Dave continues to struggle with reconnecting with his wife; and Aidan is involved in an accident that sends shock waves beyond just his nuclear family. Although the book’s pacing smoothly follows the central characters for much of the book, Scott later introduces Dave’s vivid, uncanny dream states, which will begin to rock readers’ perceptions of what’s really happening. This uncertainty will help to keep readers engaged in the cyclical nature of Dave and Debbie’s marriage struggles. However, it’s introduced at a fairly late stage, and the story may require patience on the part of readers at some points. The key to the true meaning of Dave’s dreams will be a rewarding revelation for steadfast readers.
A sometimes-disorienting but heartfelt look at the scope of a modern family’s emotions.