Meg Mitchell Moore's debut novel offers the readers a good study of a family with complicated needs.
Life in Burlington, Vt. seemed peaceful to the retired couple, William and Ginny Owen. Their eldest daughter, Lillian, called and informs them that she and her two children, ages three and newborn, are coming to their home and that she needs some time away from her husband.
Lillian doesn't share with her parents that her husband, Tom, had just slept with his assistant and a company function.
From life that seemed routine and peaceful, the home was suddenly in an uproar. Even more so when William and Ginny's son, Stephen and his wife Jane drive up without warning. Jane is seven months pregnant and both Stephen and she feel that they need a change of pace from their home in New York. Once again, the family ability to cope with change is challenged when a situation develops and the couple must extend their stay.
Rooms are changed and a pull out couch is activated for the sudden crowd.
Problems continue and the family seems to accept them but tempers are challenged with five guests in a home that had been set up for the retirees comfort.
The youngest child of the Owen's is Rachel, who has been living in New York. She also has difficulties and requests her parents to help.
The Owen's family's personal journey through the turbulent time is well described with humor and empathy with each child needing nourishment from their parents in different ways.
The author gives a good description of William and Ginny's realization that being parents bears responsibility that continues after the children leave home. The fact that the children have a safe place to go to when things are not going well is also a good lesson for all parents.
The characters and the setting were well described and the novel basks with fine literary flavor. The chaos was a bit long for me but the novel was enlightening and enjoyable.