After sitting in my TBR list for an eternity ,this book finally caught my attention ..Slow moving ,yet filled with intensely complicated family dynamics and small town life , this is definitely a page turner. Excellent in parts and lagging in some ,this is an engrossing read ..The book deals with the complexities of parenting ,motherhood ,small-town politics and loyalties ,the pressure to conform ,the chasm between the rich and the poor .
The book revolves around the Richardsons who are everything that Shakers’ Heights stands for .Rich ,successful and driven except for their youngest daughter who is an oddball ..The author has very beautifully detailed the tense ,undercurrents in the mother-daughter relationship here ..And it forces one to ponder if the mother’s exasperated reactions are because the daughter is a madcap or the daughter has become a madcap because the mother’s reactions have always been extreme …
The other important characters Mia Warren ,a poor artiste and her daughter Pearl ,who move into the Richardson’s rental home .Their move sets in place a series of events that the author has wonderfully exploited to show how tenuous the bonds of life are ..Between the written and the unwritten ,the reader grasps so much that it will be right to say that much is said by the silences too .What’s seared its way into my psyche is that how much damage can be unintentionally inflicted onto people we love by our unconscious biases and expectations ….I did feel that some parts of the book were redundant …But that’s just my thought…I would rate this book a 3.7 ….
‘all her life, she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. it so easily went out of control”.
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