The Frosts are a typical American family. Barb and John, married almost fifty years, are testy and bored with each other…who could blame them after all this time? At least they have their daughters—Barb’s favorite, the perfect, brilliant Juliet; and John’s darling, the free-spirited Sadie. The girls themselves couldn’t be more different, but at least they got along, more or less. It was fine. It was enough.
Until the day John had a stroke, and their house of cards came tumbling down.
Now Sadie has to put her career as a teacher and struggling artist in New York on hold to come back and care for her beloved dad—and face the love of her life, whose heart she broke, and who broke hers. Now Juliet has to wonder if people will notice that despite her perfect career as a successful architect, her perfect marriage to a charming Brit, and her two perfect daughters, she’s spending an increasing amount of time in the closet having panic attacks.
And now Barb and John will finally have to face what’s been going on in their marriage all along.
A story about family, with its issues, sibling rivalries, and even infidelity, Always the Last to Know was a book I felt like curling up with on a long rainy day. I was drawn to each of the characters, from the artistic Sadie to Juliet with her architecture and her special closeness to the mother Barb. Sadie’s close connection to John, the father, was changed by his illness, and even when she came to stay in the family home, she held on to hope that all would return to normal.
But each family member soon discovers that hopes and dreams do not necessarily come to those who work hard toward that goal. What they do learn, however, is that they can create their own versions of family life, despite the challenges they are facing.
I rooted for Sadie to finally connect to Noah, her long-lost love, discovering a way that they could be together in spite of what seemed like very separate versions of happiness. A story that held my interest until the end, it earned 4.5 stars.