This book is a sweeping tale of two generations of two families deeply intertwined. Kind and steady Francis Gleeson (an Irish immigrant) joins the NYPD and marries Lena (a New Yorker born and bred) and moves to the suburbs. Brian Stanhope, another NYPD cop moves in next door with his beautiful and troubled wife, Anne (also an Irish immigrant). These two couples start their families side by side, but their lives become inextricably combined, while simultaneously blowing apart.
Okay, when I say sweeping, I mean sweeping; and not just because it takes place over a 30-year span, this novel explores so many themes I’m still processing what I heard several days later. It tackles themes of family, abuse, mental illness, addiction, resilience, home, forgiveness, love, and redemption.
And even though the themes are heavy, it was written with such deftness that you don’t feel weighed down by the weight. Because, at the heart of it all, there is hope.
The characters are complicated, and flawed, and even in their brokenness, you love them. I grieved with them, I rejoiced with them, and I hoped with them.
Clearly I loved this book… I was late for work twice last week (Okay, I make my own schedule, but I was late for when I wanted to start work) because I got lost in the narration of this book, I didn’t want to stop listening.