Release date: April 14, 2020
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Historical Fiction
With her father recently moved to a care facility for his worsening dementia, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home and is surprised to discover the door to her childhood playroom padlocked. She’s even more shocked at what’s behind it—a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers and miscellaneous junk in the otherwise fastidiously tidy house.
As she picks through the clutter, she finds a loose journal entry in what appears to be her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing their mother died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker. Beth soon pieces together a disturbing portrait of a woman suffering from postpartum depression and a husband who bears little resemblance to the loving father Beth and her siblings know. With a newborn of her own and struggling with motherhood, Beth finds there may be more tying her and her mother together than she ever suspected.
Exploring the expectations society places on women of every generation, Kelly Rimmer explores the profound struggles two women unwittingly share across the decades set within an engrossing family mystery that may unravel everything they believed to be true.
This was one of my most anticipated books for 2020 after absolutely loving The Things We Cannot Say. That book meant so much to me and it touched a part of my soul, it’s definitely one of my all time favorite books and I don’t say that lightly. All of that to say, I had incredibly high expectations for this one and I’m thrilled to say that once again, KR has written a gorgeous story that I won’t forget.
There’s two timelines here, one in the late 1950’s and the other in the 1990’s and both were equally compelling. The author has an uncanny knack for writing about women’s issues from the past that still have relevance today and she explores them with grace and sensitivity. Post partum depression is at the core of this book and seeing the difference between how it was handled in the past (or really not even discussed at all) and in more contemporary times was heartbreaking and thought provoking. This was not an easy read, but it’s an important one and while I myself was lucky enough not to experience PPD after the births of my children I was still able to very easily connect and sympathize with the women in the story. Highly recommended by me and if you’re looking for an author to read during quarantine KR is an amazing one!
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.