Thoughtful and spot-on review from Library Journal


Day, known for her insightful middle-grade novels, makes her adult debut with a laser-focused first-person tale of friendship, mothers and daughters, and the devastation secrets bring. In 1983, Clare and her best friend, Lee, are on spring break when faced with a decision that sets them on a path of heartbreak. Although everyone sees Clare as the reliable caretaker, it is Lee who sacrifices herself to save Clare. Haunted by guilt, Clare drifts through the next eight years struggling with her directionless life, avoiding both Lee and any sort of true emotional attachment. Seen through her possibly unreliable narrator lens, none of the characters is particularly likable, especially Clare's distant mother, Eleanor. Well known and praised for her award-winning book about the Vietnam War, Eleanor looms hugely in the background as the rock at which Clare continues to throw herself, taking up more than her fair share of Clare's life. VERDICT Clare's inability to understand her own motivations make this layered look at imperfect characters a book club-ready page-turner, as readers will have plenty to discuss, whether they use the included questions or come up with their own.—Charli Osborne, Oak Park P. L., MI

Library Journal