The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
I didn’t particularly enjoy reading this book, but it did give me a lot to think about: how secrets affect relationships (badly); how you can’t protect your loved ones from tragedy and sadness; how things are always changing, and as much as you’d like to capture moments in time with family or friends, it just doesn’t work; how easily people misunderstand each other; how difficult it is to really know someone. I think it would have affected me differently at another time in my life, but right now, when my oldest kids are on the verge of their teen years (sort of) and I’m starting to almost think of myself as middle-aged (yikes), it was a difficult story. It made me appreciate so much what I have, though, and that’s a good thing.
About halfway through the book, I found myself just wanting to get it over with—to see if the ending was as depressing as the rest of it, or if maybe the characters would get wiser. They did seem to learn something and become better people, so it was worth it to finish. There was a hopeful feeling at the end, and one of the characters especially showed everyone else how to take things in stride and be happy for the good things, mourn with your friends and family when needed, and move on. So I guess I liked it, in the end. Not a ringing endorsement, but I think it was a good book.