4.5 out of 5 stars - "You can't compare pain and rank heartache. Pain is pain is pain. There is no precise measurement. No quarter cup."
What a marvelous book - an exploration of grief and stream of consciousness beauty of a story with prose that resonates for anyone who has suffered a loss!
Sarah St. John had a son, Cully, who recently died in an avalanche. She's paralyzed by so many conflicting emotions as she forces herself to get up each morning and deal with the devastation Cully left behind. Knowing and not knowing so many things about him, she's searching for any explanation or reason to still be alive -- for how can you be a mother if you have no child? If motherhood didn't define her, what did? Sarah reluctantly returns to her job and tries to live amiably with her dad who had moved in with her and Cully years ago. It doesn't seem that either will reach any sort of equilibrium as each is still reeling from everything that happened that brought them to this place and time. Breckenridge is a lovely, historical place that is home to both of them, but neither can reconnect with their joy of being a part of it anymore. Lyle tries to meet his needs by buying stuff he doesn't need off the home shopping channel and Sarah spends a lot of time enjoying her wine and arguing with her best friend, Suzanne. As time goes by, Sarah must face the fact that Cully had a hidden life of his own -- it wasn't intentional, it was just that he was growing up, moving into adulthood, and becoming the man he would become. Except he didn't "become" -- he died.
Sarah never married Cully's father, Billy, but discovers that the two had been seeing each other. In fact, there's even more incredible shock when a girl she's never met appears on her doorstep claiming that she's pregnant with Cully's child. The interactions that follow between them all and pregnant Kit are totally heartwarming, funny, and poignant. Decisions must be made and none are easy. Reading this novel is a journey in self-discovery.
This book will be a hit with book clubs for many reasons -- and there is so much here to love, to quote, and to discuss. I'll be recommending it highly.
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the e-book ARC to review.