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Publisher's Summary

In 1960, Billie Valentine is a young housewife living in a sleepy Massachusetts suburb, treading water in a dull marriage and caring for two adopted daughters. Summers spent with the girls at their lakeside camp in Vermont are her one escape - from her husband's demands, from days consumed by household drudgery, and from the nagging suspicion that life was supposed to hold something different.
Then a new family moves in across the street. Ted and Eva Wilson have three children and a fourth on the way, and their arrival reignites long-buried feelings in Billie. The affair that follows offers a solace Billie has never known, until her secret is revealed and both families are wrenched apart in the tragic aftermath.
Fifty years later, Ted and Eva's son, Johnny, contacts an elderly but still spry Billie, entreating her to return east to meet with him. Once there, Billie finally learns the surprising truth about what was lost, and what still remains, of those joyful, momentous summers.
In this deeply tender novel, T. Greenwood weaves deftly between the past and present to create a poignant and wonderfully moving story of friendship, the resonance of memories, and the love that keeps us afloat.
©2013 T. Greenwood (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Complex and compelling." (Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Pamela Harvey on 05-09-14

Beautiful, tender, layered story

Just one caveat here: in spite of my occasional frustration at the overused literary device of postponing for the reader a "big event" you know is coming, and filling in with meandering, anecdotal back stories, I loved this story and connected instantly with the issues facing that marginal generation of women who came of age in the 1960's. Torn between family and meaningful personal vocation, we all knew we should be doing something besides making dinner and babies, but what?? Yes, we were all college graduates, but that only seemed to complicate our situations.

However, that's simply the backdrop of this novel, which alternates between two time periods in the life of one woman, who finds herself caught up in a sensitive web of love, affection and commitment, through various breakups, re-starts, and her partner's escapes from a violent, controlling spouse. It's an at-the-time unconventional relationship that would sentence the participants to "disgrace", rejection and isolation from their peers.

I have become a T. Greenwood fan, and she is now my "go to" author when I have exhausted what's current from a Jodi Picoult or Elizabeth Berg, Sue Miller, and others in this genre.

I only have one minor bone to pick - at times I felt like a hostage, waiting for a key plot point to "happen", and wading through pages (minutes, hours) of not-so-interesting or relevant back story.

T. Greenwood is now on my short list. I've already read "The Hungry Season", which is a tighter, more compact family drama, and my review will come soon.

A full five stars!

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24 of 30 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Marjorie on 05-31-14

Women's Issues of the 50s Explored

I don't want to spoil this book for anyone so will write an oblique review without a spoiler. As a female reader interested in issues of psychology, society and storyline, I found it interesting in its exploration of the tragedy of the White middle-class "housewife" of the 50's in the United States; especially as it pertains to the many secrets and facades required in those times of strict role requirements for men and women. Many issues were explored and the characters were well developed. The book felt anti-climactic as it moved towards the end but, overall, this book was well written and engaging. The reader did a beautiful job with the voices and, in that sense, it was a pleasure to listen to.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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