My review of this book: Meh. Siblings Danny and Maeve grew up in an old mansion their father bought as a surprise for their mother. Their mother hated the house with a quiet, resigned hate. Perhaps hate is too passionate a word; more like she never belonged there. In fact, it felt like she never belonged in either the marriage or the family. Eventually, she left without notice and was not heard from again for decades. The household help, one of which “came with the house,” served as mother figures. The father was absent to his children, even when he was home. To solve the problem of bringing up children without a mother, he married Andrea, who had two daughters of her own. She loved her two daughters and tolerated, barely, Danny and Maeve. When the father died, he left everything to Andrea except funds for as much education as Danny and Maeve wanted to enroll in. For Danny, that included medical school although he didn’t want to be a doctor — and never did practice medicine. Instead, he bought and sold property — like his father had done — and was very successful at it. They do end up reconnecting with their mother; she found them thanks to the help who had brought them up. It turns out she had felt called to help the poor, and that’s what she had been doing while her children grew up motherless. Writing this synopsis, I see that I’m recounting the main story line, but I can’t draw any insight or depth from the book. Meh.

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