Author: Liese O’Halloran Schwartz
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: General Fiction
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Book Description: “A harrowing tale of the lies of omission and the lies of commission that can break a family apart, What Could Be Saved is a delicious hybrid of mystery, drama, and elegance: rich with detail, lush in language, and capable of keeping you on the edge of your seat.” —Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light
Washington, DC, 2019: Laura Preston is a reclusive artist at odds with her older sister Bea as their elegant, formidable mother slowly slides into dementia. When a stranger contacts Laura claiming to be her brother who disappeared forty years earlier when the family lived in Bangkok, Laura ignores Bea’s warnings of a scam and flies to Thailand to see if it can be true. But meeting him in person leads to more questions than answers.
Bangkok, 1972: Genevieve and Robert Preston live in a beautiful house behind a high wall, raising their three children with the help of a cadre of servants. In these exotic surroundings, Genevieve strives to create a semblance of the life they would have had at home in the US—ballet and riding classes for the children, impeccable dinner parties, a meticulously kept home. But in truth, Robert works for American intelligence, Genevieve finds herself drawn into a passionate affair with her husband’s boss, and their serene household is vulnerable to unseen dangers in a rapidly changing world and a country they don’t really understand.
Alternating between past and present as all of the secrets are revealed, What Could Be Saved is an unforgettable novel about a family shattered by loss and betrayal, and the beauty that can exist even in the midst of brokenness.
Review: 3 1/2 Stars
Review: This story taking place over two timelines, tells the story of the Preston Family. Laura is the youngest daughter of the family and well into her middle age she receives a letter that her brother who has been missing since 1972 has been found.
This sets up a intricate tale that the author weaves from the time Phillip is missing until he is found. In present day, Laura gets a mysterious letter that her brother has been found, which leaves the family with a huge difference of opinion. We flip to 1972 the months leading to Phillips disappearance.
I have very mixed feelings on this book. Overall I loved the intricacy of the story. This is very well written, especially when written in the current times, it is so detailed and leaves you wanting for more. My issue arises when they go back to 1972, while I definitely wanted to know what happened to perpetuate the story, I found myself not caring about that version of the family back then,.
Overall, I would recommend this book, but you might feel like I feel, that you glaze over some parts. In the end, I was completely satisfied with the ending of this story.
Thank you NetGalley and Atria for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review of this book.