Kirkus Reviews: Moore (Time’s Tyranny, 2017, etc.), a winner of an Independent Publisher Book Award, delivers a story about grief, family bonds, and the transformative power of love.
Tilda Carr has long had difficulty sleeping, but one night, she finally has her first restful slumber in months—only to wake up a widow. Her 40-year marriage ends with her husband Harold’s sudden death in his sleep, and she’s left reeling. She and her daughter, Laura, make an oath to get through the five stages of grief before Harold’s yahrzeit—the one-year anniversary of his death. However, the coming year has more in store for them than they realize. Tilda’s granddaughter, Tilly, hides her pain at her beloved grandfather’s passing as well as another, secret struggle that she barely understands herself. Tilda’s attempts to reach out to her are well-intentioned but clumsy at first and fraught with common, generational misunderstandings. To make matters worse, she also takes on the emotional burden of a neighbor and his daughter, whose mother left them to start a new life. Tilda struggles to be a good friend, a good mother and grandmother, and a woman navigating a life without her own best friend. This is an intimate look into the aftermath of spousal death that offers poignant observations on how grief can hide around every corner—in scents, in songs, in strangers. Tilda is so consumed by her loss that she closes herself off emotionally and doesn’t allow herself to move forward. When she gets an offer to go on a trip with a male friend who could turn into a romantic partner, her negative reaction captures how one can be unwilling to betray one’s grief with happiness. The novel also shows how Tilda fails to hear a loved one’s quiet pleas for help. As the protagonist begins to heal, she realizes how vital it is to cherish one’s relatives and how important it is to listen with an open, accepting heart.
A heartwarming novel that respects grief and honors the special bond between a grandparent and grandchild.