Olivia Westerly decided to finally settle down by the time most women she knew were up to their ears grandchildren. When Charles Doyle, her new husband, sweeps her off her feet, she’s never been happier. That is, until the new bride becomes a new widow. Alone again, she finds Ethan Allen, a little boy who has plopped himself on her doorstep with a horrifying story he won’t share with anyone. Olivia and Ethan Allen band together to make sure the past stays the past while helping each other through the hardships in their lives.
I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. It’s definitely more of an adult book, and the writing style is very different. This is some hardcore realistic fiction. The book is pretty emotional and heartbreaking, but it’s something that could happen. It really shows all of life’s hardships.
There are a couple different people that the book focuses on, and it jumps from situation to situation to give you the full affect. The read knows what everyone is doing and everything that is happening, which is interesting. On the one hand, it takes out most of the suspense; on the other hand, it adds to the intensity because the reader is biting their nails waiting for something to happen.
Also, it’s written in third person but there are pages at the beginning of each chapter with different characters’ perspectives on a certain event. This is very different from most books that I’ve read. Despite the third person, this technique helps you get closer to the individual characters while still being able to understand the full story.
It has a southern setting, and Bette Lee Crosby makes this apparent with the dialogue between the characters. All the dialogue is realistic and the characters have a depth to them that makes the both relatable and appalling. None of them are without flaws. Each one has their ups and downs, and it’s interesting how Crosby somehow evokes pity, disgust, and happiness for all the characters. For instance, Ethan Allen’s mom wasn’t very nice by any stretch of the imagination. She hated the thought of having a child, she had affairs, and she wasn’t a very good mother. But the reader still feels pity for her when her husband hits her and disgust at her attitude and happiness when things are going right. All these things are what make the book so realistic. Nobody is even close to perfect.
This isn’t something I’d normally pick up and read, but I’m glad I read it. It opened my eyes to different styles of writing rather than the normal young adult formula I’m used to. The book covers all areas of life while still having a fast moving pace.