Author: Joanna Hershon
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: April 14, 2020
Book Description: Over the course of a weekend, two couples reckon with the long-hidden secrets that have shaped their families, in a charged, poignant novel of motherhood and friendship
It’s the end of summer when we meet Sarah, the end of summer and the middle of her life, the middle of her career (she hopes it’s not the end), the middle of her marriage (recently repaired). And despite the years that have passed since she last saw her daughter, she is still very much in the middle of figuring out what happened to Leda, what role she played, and how she will let that loss affect the rest of her life.
Enter a mysterious stranger on a train, an older man taking the subway to Brooklyn who sees right into her.Then a mugging, her phone stolen, and with it any last connection to Leda. And then an invitation, friends from the past and a weekend in the country with their new, unexpected baby.
Over the course of three hot September days, the two couples try to reconnect. Events that have been set in motion, circumstances and feelings kept hidden, rise to the surface, forcing each to ask not just how they ended up where they are, but how they ended up who they are.
Unwinding like a suspense novel, Joanna Hershon’s St. Ivo is a powerful investigation into the meaning of choice and family, whether we ever know the people closest to us, and how, when someone goes missing from our lives, we can ever let them go.
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Review: Wow, does this small book pack a punch. This an introspective book that surrounds two couples over a few days. These couples have been close for a long time, but have lost touch over the years. They come together over one weekend to catch up, but they are both hiding deep secrets and some motives may not be sincere.
Sarah and Matt are in their late 40’s, and while they love each other deeply, you know from the beginning they are struggling with something. Early on in this book, Sarah and Matt are mugged and Sarah’s phone is stolen. She is visibly upset and we find out this is the last connection to her daughter. Throughout the story you get flashbacks to when their daughter Leda was younger, but the author does a wonderful job keeping exactly what happened to her.
We then meet Kiki and later her husband, they have just a baby in their 40’s and going through all the emotions of being brand new parents. They too are also hiding a secret and maybe the key why they reached out to Sarah and Matt.
While the emphasis is on Sarah and Matt in this tale, there is a so much to unpack between these couples and their tenuous friendship. I found myself gobbling every word Hershon wrote. This is not a light read at all, but even with all the reflection, this story moves and will keep you reading. Highly recommend this read.
Thank you NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.