It reads like a rambling of memories of a marriage, how they met, the children, a secret word and then, memories of their own beginnings. Frank wants to see inside his old house but the current tenant is a single mom who can't handle a stranger invading her privacy. He keeps at it and she and her son know he is always there a quiet presence at the edge of the yard. Shelley is running from her own ghosts - pretending that her husband is coming home, pretending that her job as a court stenographer is still there and that her youngest son is ok and not filled with a dark imagination and a fascination for the macabre. The older husband and his wife and the young mom barely functioning as a single parent take turns narrating chapters.
The house is the collective tissue and the journal like entries together make up a collective history and a moving story of everyday life. Readers of Elizabeth Strout and Louise Erdrich will savor the language. 4 stars
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