What’s the word for anti-drama? Whatever it is, it might be my favorite kind of drama. I loved this book and it follows a similar anti-drama formula author Liane Moriarty used in What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret to great effect. All three books start with a dramatic, Lifetime-movie-esque premise (in this case, middle-aged retiree and mother of four vanishes, possibly connected to a mysterious stranger) and then use this to explore the most fascinating details of… just, normal life… getting married, raising kids, facing disappointment, changing careers, navigating relationships. I found it so satisfying, the mystery’s solution and the relationships’ arcs all. However, there are a several drop-the-book surprises and a bitterly poisonous pill towards the end, so it’s not quite your standard, suburban malaise family novel.
Two of the kids suspect their father is involved in their mother’s disappearance and two are convinced he had nothing to do with it. Anyone who’s lived through their parents’ divorce and stayed friends (or not) with their siblings will relate. Also, lots of tennis throughout, which since reading Andre Agassi’s Open, I’m into.
For those of you who love Moriarty and want to know how seriously to take my opinion, here are my rough rankings:
What Alice Forgot (Love)
The Husband’s Secret (Liked a great deal)
Big Little Lies (Disliked, but loved the series)