Publisher: Lake Union
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.
But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.
Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.
I’m joining in again with Throwback Thursday which was created by my good friend Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favorites and read books that have already been published. I have so many older books on my TBR that get ignored in favor of review copies and I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at a least one older title a week!
This is told from multiple perspectives that of Catherine, Owen, Annie, Colin and Lindy. This group couldn’t be more different, but maybe that’s what made them all connect in the first place twenty years ago. Catherine and Owen are married with children and go the non traditional route as he stays home with the kids and she works. They seem like the perfect all American family on the surface, but resentment bubbles under the surface. Annie is also married with one kid and she tries really hard to present the perfect life to the world, especially online. We all know no one is perfect though… Colin is a successful surgeon with a big secret about their late friend, Bea and Lindy is a famous musician with way too many issues to list here. For such a large ensemble cast of characters I found them all to be really well drawn and relatable. Some more than others, I didn’t have much in common with Lindy’s rock star life but could relate to both Annie and Owen as stay at parents. (I wonder why? 😜)
This isn’t a traditional mystery but rather a story of secrets and long held grudges with mysterious elements. When they reunite at the bequest of Bea most of them haven’t kept in touch at all and all have different issues with each other and things they really don’t want the others to know. I admittedly got slightly annoyed with most of them because so many of their problems could’ve been solved by simply talking to each other, but without conflict this would’ve just been a boring story about a group of middle aged friends, so I get that it was basically the driving force of the book. Overall this was an enjoyable read, the author is a good writer my only complaint was the ending, I felt like there were just too many loose ends that weren’t tied up at all BUT I’m super picky about endings so take that with a grain of salt.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.