After years without contact from his daughter, David Walker is on his deathbed at the local hospital, and ends up making one last effort to connect with his family, reaching out to his granddaughter. Elle is surprised when she discovers her grandfather is not only still alive, but a patient at the same hospital where she works and her best friend’s current favorite patient. Elle’s mom, Marie has long refused to talk about her past, and even now, Elle is afraid to confront her due to Marie’s lifelong identity disorder. While Marie is doing well at the moment, a discussion about her past and her parents could potentially trigger her.
While Elle does not want to disrespect her mother, she also wants to know about her family and meet her grandfather while she still can. He ends up telling her a story about her family that she finds hard to believe but also helps her find perspective on her mother by revealing more of her family history (I was a bit irritated with Elle’s response to one of his revelations and definitely wanted to tell her she was classifying a few thing incorrectly but she was dealing with a lot of new truths). David is plagued by guilt and regret. He dearly loved his wife, but also must face the fact that he made bad decisions out of his love for her, and cannot forgive himself. His story reveals a woman that loves her daughter but her love is complicated by the fact that she suffers from some type of personality disorder, like her daughter.
Overall, I liked the characters and the plotting, but it is also one of those novels that is engaging when it is being read, but somewhat predictable and entirely forgettable once complete. It’s good for a thoughtful distraction but won’t necessarily be a novel that sticks with the reader.