Mary Sullivan, wife and mother of two teen boys has been mourning the death of her mother for five years. When she meets Cathy, a young salesclerk at a luncheonette in town who suffers the tragic loss of her own mother, Mary befriends her and the two women help each other heal and move forward. More
Main Selection of both the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club
From Publishers Weekly
In the latest from Rentschler, a grief-afflicted woman finally puts five years of mourning to use, starting a tender journey of self-discovery with a similarly afflicted soul. Mary Sullivan is a woman who has lost herself in the process of caring for her husband and two sons, while grief over her own dead mother quietly consumes her. A chance encounter at a luncheonette introduces Mary to Cathy, a chatty, free-spirited college student. When Cathy's mother dies suddenly, the two women forge a bond based on mutual grief. As Cathy attempts to contact her deceased mother via a psychic, Mary embarks on her own, divergent path to recovery; along the way, they help each other find peace and understanding. Though unsurprising, Reuetschler's book is a quick and effortless indulgence, the lit-fic equivalent of a coffee break: while it might lack the resonance of more layered fiction, this novel will provide comfort and encouragement for anyone who has struggled with grief.
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Review from Library Journal
Still grieving the death of her mother five years on, Mary Sullivan has been living on autopilot. Immersing herself in the daily details of taking care of her two teenage sons and husband, she gets by with occasional lapses of overwhelming grief. During a quick stop at a luncheonette, she breaks down again only to be helped by Cathy, the young woman manning the counter. Cathy's compassion is quickly reciprocated as Cathy finds herself motherless following a tragic accident. As Mary guides Cathy through the technical and emotional aspects of a loved one's death, Mary's family grows resentful of this interruption to their domestic routine. Author and playwright Rentschler (Jitters) has beautifully blended convincing characters, perceptive portraits of family relationships and friendships, and insight into the human capacity for healing and renewal. Recommended for all popular fiction collections. -- Library Journal Review