This story spans decades, beginning with Francis Gleason and Brian Stanhope, two rookie NYPD policemen whose paths crossed briefly on the job but later connect when the Stanhopes buy the house next door to the Gleasons. Lena Gleason is pregnant and lonely, looking forward to someone near her own age as a close neighbor. However, it’s clear from the onset that Anne Stanhope does not share that point of view, distancing herself and even displaying hostility. However, years later, Kate, the youngest Gleason child and Peter, the Stanhope’s only one, become fast friends at a very young age and remain such until after a decade tragedy separates the families. Their reunion years later is a catalyst to force them all to face what happened and breed much introspection.
I started this blindly, meaning I didn’t read the synopsis after adding this to my shelf a few months ago. Initially I was trying to figure out what it was about until I realized all I needed to do was relax and absorb the story and really get to know the characters who are richly crafted. I liked most of them, even when they didn’t make the best decisions or choices. As they aged, perspectives changed or shifted, sometimes in curious directions. What remained constant was the seemingly impenetrable bond between Kate and Peter and it anchors the story and two families, for better or worse.
I’m so very glad I chose this story in the midst of others that are high tension and action. This caused me to stop and reflect throughout, left to my own conclusions. It doesn’t strike for high drama or lofty solutions. These are people who I could know, family or friends, as they make their way through life doing the best they know how to do in the moment. I loved the ending, which followed in the same vein, not offering major twists or revelations, rather just mature insights bred from experience. I love where it left me, having me consider the events of my own life and whether I’d be better or worse without them. I’m also grateful I chose the audio format as the narrator’s subtle performances for each character gave them weight. She obviously understood the importance of the light touch, letting this lovely story resound.
- Release Date: May 28, 2019
- Narrator: Molly Pope
- Audio Length: 12 hours, 42 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)