When does attraction turn to love? When does loss turn to need? And when does a child become a man? These questions and more fuel Donna Small’s quietly convincing tale of middle-aged romance, where the widowed mother of a swimmer finds herself falling for the coach. But the biggest question of all is, when can a woman of a certain age date a man of a much younger age?
The characters feel very real in this novel. A mother’s concern for her daughter, the correct application of sunscreen, swimming, swim meets, and everything in between is authentically and evocatively portrayed. Kate’s journey from grief is described with a pleasingly light touch, honest, deep, and healing. Meanwhile, her unexpected journey to romance feels equally real, from tentative admission of attraction to something which grows convincingly. And if the wonderful, gorgeous guy is a little too adult for his age, isn’t that how age-different romances are meant to start.
There’s a tentative darkness to this tale, with haunting fears invading growing delights. But most of all, there’s a thoroughly modern honesty, a genuine feel for human love and flaws, and a pleasing delicacy that’s thoroughly sensual without overabundant sexuality. There's a lot of soul-searching as the story progresses, but the problems are real, and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable, absorbing read.
Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)