There are ten characters introduced so quickly that I had trouble keeping track of who was who; all their names mixed together and the events intersected through time, over forty years, so it keeps you on your toes. But that’s a pleasure. And then suddenly it all falls into place—you know who is who and where you are; the baby you meet in the first chapter is grown up, her parents and siblings all have had time to reflect on their lives and try to figure it out, as well as deal with regret and finding forgiveness, or not. The process of self-discovery and growth, or the lack of it, comes through loud and clear. It made me breath deeply, even laugh at times, and often nod my head with recognition and connection.
After I finished reading it I went back and re-read parts of it, finding the hints she dropped of what was to come, looking for a deeper understanding of each character and event. But I didn’t really enjoy doing that. It’s like any number of experiences I’ve had in my life that don’t require or give exact definition. They happened; I felt them; I’ve lived through them, perhaps even stronger because of them. And that’s enough. Life is a messy and wonderful thing; people especially. I accept and embrace all of it.