Author: Connie Schultz

Genre: Literary Fiction/Historical Fiction

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: June 9, 2020

Book Description: Hidden desires, long-held secrets, and the sacrifices people make for family are at the heart of this powerful first novel by the popular Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist.

“A moving, unforgettable story about time, progress, and how the mistakes of one generation get repeated or repaired by the next.”—J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions

1957, Clayton Valley, Ohio. Ellie has the best grades in her class. Her dream is to go to nursing school and marry Brick McGinty. A basketball star, Brick has the chance to escape his abusive father and become the first person in his blue-collar family to attend college. But when Ellie learns that she is pregnant, everything changes. Just as Brick and Ellie revise their plans and build a family, a knock on the front door threatens to destroy their lives. 

The evolution of women’s lives spanning the second half of the twentieth century is at the center of this beautiful novel that richly portrays how much people know—and pretend not to know—about the secrets at the heart of a town, and a family.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I must be on a roll for family dramas, because yet again I have another one. This story is historical fiction and centers around Ellie and Brick, high school sweethearts and the life they build together.

Ellie is brought up by her grandparents and Brick is brought up in an abusive household. They had a very precarious start to their love, but after Ellie gets pregnant, they run off to get married and move to Erietown to raise their family.

Their relationship is far from idyllic, with multiple affairs and hidden secrets that will stay with this family for many years. However, you will see both Ellie and Brick fight for their love and family,

Along with our main characters, you will also spend time with their children Samantha and Reilly and a cast of other characters that really make this story shine.

The author really committed to this family with love, heartbreak and everything in between. By the end of this book I felt like they were my own family and really felt for them and all the decisions they made. You will be asking yourself many times…What Would I Do? You might not agree with the decisions that are made, but you will never fault them.

This is a beautiful debut novel. One note it is rather long, but I don’t think you will feel much with the way this book flows.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Posted by:Lauren A.

You really can say I am an obsessed reader as I read 200-300 books per year. I love Literary Fiction, Memoirs (I don't really care what kind), Mysteries and Thrillers. Once in awhile I will thrown in some YA and Romance. When I am not reading, I am a Sales Engineer for a software company, and I take care of my three cats with my husband. I love music, which my college degree is in. Looking forward to share my thoughts on all things reading.

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