Safe Within by Jean Reynolds Page

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Elaine Forsyth and her fading husband, Carson, moved into her parents’ full-sized treehouse by the lake so that he can spend his remaining days in peace. Moving back to where they grew up brings up some old, un-faced issues that Elaine finds herself confronted with at every turn. Her mother-in-law, Greta, has never approved of Elaine, and refuses to talk to her or acknowledge that her son is the father of Elaine’s son, Mick. Mick is dealing with his own skeletons, as he spends the summer with his mother, grieving the loss of his father and tracing his old steps, only to find that there is a secret involving his past girlfriend that everyone in town seems to know about, except for him.

This is a novel about tieing up the loose ends of your life and finding closure where you least expect it, and it is a novel about making your own family, regardless of history or even genetics-family and life are what you make them. Grief, loss, and letting go of the past so you can move forward, all factor into this surprisingly uplifting story by Jean Reynolds Page, which stresses that even though you can’t change the past, you can always try to do better with the present.

If you like women’s fiction you will enjoy this novel, especially if you liked A Simple Thing by Kathleen McCleary, or The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo.

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