Published by Doubleday, New York 2008
Deborah hates rain. When she heads out to pick up her teenage daughter, Grace, from a friend’s party, she is already dreading the drive. Visibility is poor even on the best of nights. Why did they have to live so far out of town where there are no street lights? To top it all off, on the way home Deborah and Grace are arguing. That was something they never did before Greg left. That fateful night will change the course of life for both mother and daughter and eventually affect the entire family.
Author Barbara Delinsky creates realistic characters in the story of how Deborah discovers that deception, even when well intended, can destroy rather than protect. Deborah has a thriving medical practice that she shares with her father who, of late, is dealing with his wife’s recent death by drinking. Grace is good in school, the top performer on her track team, and angry at her father for abandoning the family for another woman. Dylan, Grace’s little brother, a sweet eleven year old, is fighting a losing battle with his eyesight. Peripheral characters include Deborah’s unmarried sister, Jill, who announces she is pregnant, much to the chagrin of their father. Karen, Deborah’s good friend, is consumed with doubt about her husband’s faithfulness. Then Tom enters the story, an unlikely friend considering the circumstances, but one Deborah cannot get out of her head.
Guilt can be a powerful drug. Combined with monumental expectations by the ones you love, and even higher ones for yourself, it is a wonder we don’t all fail. This is a deep look into the human heart and spirit and how to come out the other side as a survivor and maybe even a little wiser. Easy reading and a little slow in spots, Delinsky takes on our struggle with being a good parent, daughter and friend. Her novel is believable and provoking.
Joanne Tailele has been a full time resident of Marco Island for two years. Born in Youngstown, her last “home” for 12 years was Columbus, Ohio. Between Joanne and her husband, she has six children and nine grandchildren. She works as receptionist for a local real estate company.