The BUZZ: Third novel by the author of The Vernazza Effect and The Foundation.
The GIST: Muriel, Susanne and Lilia represent three generations of strong, talented women. Muriel, the aging grandmother, is a gifted water-colorist. Susanne, her daughter, is a Fortune 500 CEO. Her daughter, Lilia, is an accomplished cello student. They share deep bonds, but have neglected to nurture each other with honesty. Lilia and Muriel adore one another, but each struggle in a strained relationship with Susanne, whose love for them tends toward dictatorial micromanaging. When Muriel’s health declines, both Lilia and Susanne must return to the lakeside home where Muriel is coming to terms with her mortality. Together, and each on their own, they all must face the painful past that has lodged some splinters between them.
The WRITING: Wise and moving. Carr is strong in character development, giving the reader insight into what makes different personalities tick. I thought a lot about these characters between readings. Friends, neighbors, and peripheral characters in the story are equally substantial. She also provides astute observations regarding the universal challenges of overcoming hardships in relationships, and why it’s so difficult to communicate honestly with those we love. In protecting them from suffering, and guarding our own sensitivities, we often do some unintentional damage. The Bennett women are figuring this out. Carr also has a gift for location immersion, creating vivid scenes in Boston, Oregon, California and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.
BUY OR BORROW: Buy. This is our first review of a self-published author, and we encourage you to check out her other books as well.