Chris was a man easily contented. It wasn’t that he was simple or easy-going, because he was not; he was irritated by people who stood in the way of his goals, and people who made things more complicated than they had to be. But he recognized small pleasures, appreciated things gone right, and basked in the moment rather than focusing on what should be or hadn’t been.
“Hey man,” said Chris, reaching out to give Jonah a high-five. When his hand remained stranded in the air, he dropped it and ruffled the boy’s hair instead. How’s it going?”
“Good.” Jonah squinted up at him in the late-afternoon light. The emptiness where his front teeth had been bore the serrated edges of new growth. “Did you know my mom is dead?”
Chris’ hand went still on the boy’s head, and Dave looked down at the floor. Kate waited for Dave to say something soothing to his son, or something to them to indicate that this was not uncommon, just part of the process. He continued to study the wooden threshold, curling his bare toes on the floorboards.
ummer island vacation with her family was supposed to be a restorative time for Kate, who’d lost her close friend Elizabeth in a plane crash. But when she inherits a trunk of Elizabeth's journals, they reveal a woman far different than the cheerful wife and mother Kate thought she knew. The complicated portrait of Elizabeth — her upbringing, her marriage, and journey to motherhood — makes Kate question not just their friendship, but her own deepest beliefs about loyalty and honesty at a moment of uncertainty in her own marriage. When an unfamiliar man’s name appears in the pages, Kate realizes the extent of what she didn’t know about her friend — including where she was really going when she died.
Set in the anxious summer after the September 11th attacks, this story of two women —their friendship, their marriages, private ambitions and fears — considers the aspects of ourselves we show and those we conceal, and the repercussions of our choices.
Written with exquisite grace, depth, and honesty, The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. explores decisions driven by motherhood and marriage... This riveting novel fiercely captures this fulcrum of the public and private lives of American mothers.”
RANDY SUSAN MEYERS,
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS