I enjoyed this author’s first novel Love Wars, so I was definitely interested in reading this when it showed up on my doorstep. I loved it! It was one of those books that I started reading and was immediately drawn into the lives of the characters, which caused me to think about them when I wasn’t reading it and wanting to make more time to read it.
Just as Paige’s business as a marriage counselor is slowing down, because all the well-heeled New Yorkers have vacated the city for the summer, her own marriage is feeling a little off. She and her husband leased a beach house but haven’t even been there yet. He’s having some sort of trouble at worked, but Paige can’t get him to tell her what’s up.
In the meantime, her estranged sister contacts her parents out of the blue. She barely remembers her, but can’t forget the havoc she wreaked on her family. Her mother is thrilled and panders to Sloan, but Sloan is only interested in reconnecting with Paige, who isn’t sure she wants to open herself up to the relationship.
This is Paige’s story, but each of the characters is so well-developed, from Sloan, to her over-bearing mother, to Sloan’s odd but lovable boyfriend. I especially liked the prolonged suspense in regards to what her husband Dave was really up to. It was written in such a way that I never knew whether to trust him or not.
It’s definitely light women’s fiction. Yes, issues were addressed that many of us face — secrets kept in our family of origin and in our marriages, career uncertainty, ethics — but somehow Heller creates these incredibly real characters and situations that could be somewhat dark, and yet still keeps it light. So whereas I generally reserve a 5-star read for a book that goes slightly deeper in some way, I enjoyed this book so much. It was my first couldn’t-put-it-down read of this summer.
L. Alison Heller is definitely one of my new favorite women’s fiction authors, and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.