When Ricky Ryrie’s newborn boy dies after just 57 hours, her grief is worsened because she knew months earlier it was going to happen, but didn’t confide in her husband John and continued the pregnancy as if everything were normal.
This non-disclosure blocks the ability of the whole family to grieve properly. Thirteen-year-old Paul cannot talk about the bullying he suffers at school, 10-year-old Biscuit skips school to hold a private funeral for her dead brother and the unresolved pain of an old infidelity surfaces between Ricky and John.
Only when Jess, John’s grown-up daughter from a previous relationship, arrives out of the blue with problems of her own does the family begin to come together in the gradual realisation that only by openness and sharing grief and pain can they help one another.
U.S. prize-winning author Leah Hager Cohen writes like a dream and effortlessly inhabits each of her characters. She’s not much known here yet, but lovers of family relationship literary fiction, such as Anne Tyler fans, need look no further.