Sarah Macmillan always puts family first, but she can’t quite stretch her arms wide enough to hold on to everyone as they all age: her career-minded, inattentive younger sister, Glennie; their grandparents, who are slowly fading; or a pregnancy Sarah desperately wanted. But it’s her tumultuous relationship with Glennie that makes Sarah feel the loneliest. She’d always believed that their relationship was foundational, even unbreakable. Though blessed with a happy marriage to Al, whose compassion and humor she admires, Sarah shoulders both caregiving and loss largely alone and grows bitter about Glennie’s absences, until one decision forces them all to decide what family means—and who is family. Narrated by the chorus of their three voices, this elegantly told and deeply moving novel examines the pull of tradition, the power of legacies, the importance of forgiveness, and the fertile but fragile ground that is family, the first geography to shape our hearts.
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Caitlin Hamilton Summie earned an MFA with Distinction from Colorado State University. Her short stories have been published in Beloit Fiction Journal, Wisconsin Review, Puerto del Sol, Mud Season Review, and Long Story, Short, among other journals. Her first book, a short story collection called TO LAY TO REST OUR GHOSTS, was published by Fomite Press in 2017 to excellent reviews. It placed Silver, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award in Short Stories and won the 2017 Philip H. McMath Post-Publication Book Award. Her first novel, GEOGRAPHIES OF THE HEART, is due out from Fomite Press in January 2022. She co-owns the book marketing firm, Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, founded in 2003. Find her online at https://caitlinhamiltonsummie.com.
I enjoyed getting to know Sarah and Al. This was a good story all the way around. the writing was so easy to get into. Like the author was talking to me. I have to say this is one I will be recommending to friends looking for a new author to try.
4 stars from this reader.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required, and all views expressed are our own.