An attractive, successful family of two parents and two teenage daughters is thrown into turmoil when the father reveals he has an 8-yr-old son living in town, the result of an extramarital fling. The husband’s wife had long known and seems to have forgiven him but the two girls–especially our heroine (Lucy)–feel betrayed and angry and spiral downwards. The parents seem to feel like once the situation is out in the open and acknowledged, the daughters ought to be able to accept it and move forward with no big fuss. This doesn’t happen.
Finally, on the spur of the moment, Lucy runs away from her New Jersey home and travels up to Maine to see her grandpa, whom she has only met once before. He welcomes her, sheds light on the fractious relationship he has with Lucy’s dad, has a massive stroke, and dies. Parents and sister arrive and understandings and some growth on everybody’s part occurs.
This story is told in an interesting but economical manner and makes many a thoughtful observation. The characters are sympathetic and well-realized. All generations are represented positively.
There is some pot-smoking. There is a brief graphic teenage sex scene which didn’t need to be in the book and which parents might object to their kids reading. There is bad language and a couple of scary situations for a young girl traveling alone.
But, overall, this could be a helpful book for young adults.