The pacing is swift and the plot turns seem authentic to this billowing, blustering family, which propels the story along ... Ache, resignation and a stalwart determination to move forward are captured in the earnest and crisp tone of Eleanor’s voice ... there is comfort to be found in the familiar dissection of family — in how we navigate the unhappiness that family, and life, throw our way, and by this measure these two novels offer solace and hope.
Maynard portrays Eleanor, her family, and their precious home through three tumultuous American decades, setting their story amidst seminal events and to a soundtrack featuring the music of each era. Sensitively plumbing the complexity of human emotions, of love and forgiveness, she draws readers into a deep, aching attachment to her characters, creating an ultimately hopeful tale just right for this moment.
Maynard explores the intricacies of marriage and family in this emotionally potent epic novel ... Historical events and popular culture of the 1970s and 1980s are thoughtfully contrasted with intimate details of Eleanor’s life, from the joys of early marriage to the travails of motherhood. Readers will sink into Maynard’s masterful portrait of one woman’s life in this decades-spanning family saga.