What set Penny on that dangerous course of action? Why was she driving so erratically, almost as if she wanted to die? What had Demeter told her in the dunes when they went there privately, just before that final car ride?
In the rest of the story, we slowly learn some answers…and have more questions.
We also discover more about the interior worlds of the parents, as well as the children. Zoe Alistair, single mom and a talented chef, has been having a secret affair with Jordan Randolph, Jake’s father, and the owner of the local newspaper. Lynn and Al Castle, Demeter’s parents, are caught up in their civic-minded world and blind to their daughter’s self-destructive bent. Ava, Jake’s mother and Jordan’s wife, spends most of her time in her dead son Ernie’s room, mourning his loss to SIDS at age eight weeks…and blaming her husband.
What I loved most about this story was that it is so much more than a beach read. Instead, it explores themes of relationships, conflicts, errors in judgment, and lost dreams. And while we are following along with the drama of the characters, the author shows us the settings, even allows us to drool over Zoe’s wonderful and creative culinary treats, and takes us along to enjoy a brief stint in Australia, where Jordan, Ava, and Jake go for a while after the accident.
The tale was so layered, transporting us back to the “beginning” of each character’s story as we follow that character’s narrative. Definitely a memorable book. 4.5 stars.