From Publishers Weekly
Heartwarming and assured, Rice's latest novel (after The Secret Hour) addresses timeless themes and will linger with readers long after the reading is done. For years, Bay McCabe has kept her family together despite her husband's unfaithfulness. When Sean disappears one afternoon, she discovers that he has embezzled money from many in their small seaside town. Suddenly, Bay and her three children are besieged by the press, isolated from their community and broke. The eventual discovery of Sean's dead body raises larger questions like why he stole, who helped him and whether he might have been murdered. One clue reconnects Bay with widower Daniel Connolly, a boat builder with whom she shared a teenage attraction. As solid as Sean was slick, Daniel rekindles Bay's affections even as his troubled daughter Eliza helps Bay's daughter Annie cope with the summer's horrors. But when it turns out that Danny's late wife may have been entangled with Sean, their tenuous tie threatens to break. Rich with scenic settings and colorful characters, this is a beautifully crafted novel despite some 11th-hour plot contrivances. Rice's ability to evoke the lyricism of the seaside lifestyle without over-sentimentalizing contemporary issues like adultery, anorexia or white-collar crime is just one of the many gifts that make this a perfect summer read.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Rice revisits the small Connecticut town of Hubbard's Point, adding another family to the long list of residents from her previous books. Bay McCabe seems to have the ideal American life with a successful banker husband and three wonderful, normal, healthy children, but on one idyllic summer day life as she knows it falls apart. Sure, she and her husband Sean have had marital problems, but he promised things would change and they do, for the worse. When Sean doesn't come home, Bay starts thinking about all the pitfalls of her marriage, and then the FBI shows up and informs her that Sean is under investigation for embezzlement. Her life is in chaos and the children are terrified, especially her eldest, Annie, who believes that if she could only be what her father wanted her to be, i.e., thin and athletic, he wouldn't have disappeared. A loving look at family and the issues that must be faced when a crisis threatens its cohesion. Patty EngelmannCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved