Their history together, and Maggie’s assault, are revealed in smooth flashback; with equal aplomb, Pittard shifts between Mark’s perspective and Maggie’s as the book, and their trip, unspool ... Pittard proves herself a master of ordinary suspense ... Pittard creates the feeling of emotional truth.
...captivating...you won't put this story down ... Pittard brilliantly explores the couple’s reliance on each other, the mingled joy, mystery and sadness of their marriage ... Pittard deserves the attention of anyone in search of today’s best fiction.
At its best, Pittard's fast-moving story recalls a legion of American writers from Hawthorne to McCarthy, each chronicling existential encounters framed by the wilderness and exposing the heart of darkness ... But her tight plot proves too intent on making the next bend in the road to pay sufficient attention to the menacing terrain being traversed ... What could have been riveting drama about one of those frightening forks in life's road gets hijacked instead by melodrama — or, worse, confirmation of one's nagging suspicion that most of this couple's preceding problems are contrived and unreal.
Neither character is extremely likable, and their backgrounds stumble into eye-rolling territory...Thankfully, their backgrounds aren't essential to the storyline. The focus is on their inner dialogues as they feel themselves drifting apart ... Pittard writes her characters' vulnerable, inappropriate, selfish, trivial, scary thoughts with cringeworthy honesty ... Pittard may write about the things that no one likes talking about, but readers should listen when one of her characters brings it up.
A taut, slim book covering a single day, it nonetheless encompasses the full gamut of human emotion, and neuroses...Its key is Pittard’s uncanny ability to render not only the spoken but the unspoken words of her characters in a way that showcases their often harmful divide.