‘This is an elegantly crafted tale, which moves swiftly through the ruins of a broken marriage, the breakup, and the consequences for the whole family. Leaving a leafy suburban town and her gentle middle class suburban life to fast paced New York with a high pressure PR job and a surly and increasingly distant and rebellious teenager leaves Helen Armstead whirling and increasingly unsure of her actions or where she is really heading in her life. Her estranged husband, Ben, is no better off, being forced into re-hab, which he perhaps does or does not need, a short spell in prison and burdened with a humdinger of a mid-life crisis that threatens to end everything he has ever worked for.
Their new lives apart give them opportunities and experiences they would not have dreamed of being a part of, until a bizarre crisis involving a disturbed and alcoholic movie star starts to bring the family back together, realising perhaps that suburban middle class life is all they really wanted.
A well paced and fascinating portrait of American small town characters thrust into situations which reveal their true qualities, both good and bad, to great effect and understanding. The only small frustration was the somewhat expected ending which unfortunately didn’t live up to the great expectations generated by the rest of the book. Nevertheless, definitely worth a read – a holiday book you won’t be let down by!