The book by Emma Straub narrates the story of a 68-year-old widow Astrid Strick who realizes her faults in parenting her full-grown children after witnessing an accident.
When Astrid witnesses the accident in the center of town, she takes a walk down her repressed memory lane, when she suddenly realizes that she had not been quite the parent she thought she was to her three children. But what next?
The book then describes the lives of Astrid’s three children. Her youngest son, Nicky, lost in his way, making up for the parenting mistakes of his own. We see him trying to find a way out the mess with his wife, sending their only child to live with her grandma. Following the youngest comes her pregnant elder sister, Porter, who is 37 years old and is still trying to fight her adolescence. Being pregnant via a sperm donor, she is still into a relationship old high school boyfriend. Elliott, the oldest, follows them and is preoccupied with a so-called secret business proposal.
Drowning in the great pool of her mistakes, Astrid finds a friend in her granddaughter Cecilia, who gives her the courage to confront and confess her mistakes.
The book carves out a story that portrays the shades of life from the very adolescence to old age juggling between the flawed characters and their jumbled lives, creating fantastic chemistry of wisdom, humor, and insight all bundled into one.
Praises fetched by the book
Brimming with kindness, forgiveness, humor, and love and yet (magically) also a page-turner that held me captive until it was finished. This is Emma Straub’s absolute best and the world will love it. I love it.
—New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett
An engaging and smart book about the marvelous messiness of what makes up a family; a wonderful book.
—New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout