After 24 years of marriage, Elizabeth has finally come to terms with the fact that her husband, Jack, and her 2 daughters have all taken center stage in her life, leaving her to cast aside her own dreams and aspirations. When Jack was a famous football star, she cared for her young daughters mostly by herself. When Jack later became a smaller time sports caster, moving from town to town where opportunities arose, she duly followed. But now that the girls are both out of the house, she realizes that it is time for her to attend to herself – she just has to figure out whether that plan will include Jack or not…
This is a story that will, sadly, strike a familiar chord with many readers, I believe. When the nest empties, it is often a challenge for couples to fill the void – or it is the time when the void has to finally be acknowledged. Hannah describes this conflict with sensitivity, honesty and warmth, presenting both Elizabeth’s and Jack’s sides to a complicated story.
I think it was not good that I knew before reading this book that the author had written The Nightingale. That book was so outstanding that I had elevated expectations for this one. For example, some subplots were hinted at but then left undone. One character, Kim, who Elizabeth met in a support group, was a mysterious, moodier member of the group. It appeared that she was going to be more of a presence in the book (and it was an interesting possibility), but she was just sort of abandoned in a more underdeveloped state.
I would still recommend this book – it was a nice read – but manage your expectations if you’ve read The Nightingale!