A debut love story from Los Angeles–based Reid.
Elsie's new husband, Ben, is hit by a truck while riding his bicycle. He dies on impact. Ben’s mother, Susan, never knew her son had a wife (the courtship was brief). When she and Susan meet after Ben's death, there's friction. The book flashes back to Elsie and Ben’s brief, fun-filled romance and Vegas elopement, and it tracks the post-funeral friendship that develops between Elsie and Susan. Ben was reluctant to tell his recently widowed mother about his upcoming marriage since he was afraid Susan would feel that he was pushing her out of his life. And Elsie was afraid Susan wouldn’t like her since her own parents had always made her feel like an unloved failure. Over time, the two women work through their suspicion and anxieties and confide in one another, support one another, talk about Ben together and eventually talk to Ben together. There is a subplot involving an old man, a frequent visitor to the library where Elsie works, who's preparing for the death of his wife.
A moving novel about life and death.