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The bestselling author of Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman returns with a delightfully wise and witty novel of two women constrained by choice. One has too little, the other too much. In the summer of 1959, 40-year-old Barbara Beeching, the married mother of two grown-up children, embarks on an unexpected, tender, and surprisingly passionate affair with a much younger man. Forty years later, 35-year-old Siena Grant, a successful television fashion consultant, faces a difficult question: Should she agree to have the baby her husband yearns for? Decades separate Barbara and Siena, yet each is at a crossroads, and each is wondering, "Where does happiness lie?" They are destined never to meet, yet their stories are woven together and their intimate, inner lives are linked. Fans of Elizabeth Buchan know that no one is better at capturing the complexities of marriage at middle age. Each of her novels is eagerly awaited by women who revere her as a literary goddess. Her latest, savvy, sophisticated, irresistibly entertaining, does not disappoint.Show more
The novel opens in England in 1915, at the deathbed of Dorothy Townsend, a suffragist and one of the first women to integrate Cambridge University. Her decision to starve herself for the cause informs and echoes in the later, overlapping narratives of her descendants. Among them are her daughter Evie, who becomes a professor of chemistry at Barnard College in the middle of the century and never marries, and her granddaughter Dorothy Townsend Barrett, who focuses her grief over the loss of her son by repeatedly defying the ban on photographing the bodies of dead soldiers returned to Dover Air Force base from Iraq. The contemporary chapters chronicle Dorothy Barrett's girls, both young professionals embarrassed by their mother's activism and baffled when she leaves their father after fifty years of marriage. Walbert deftly explores the ways in which successive generations of women have attempted to articulate what the nineteenth century called "the woman question." Her novel is a moving reflection on the tides of history, and how the lives of our great-grandmothers resonate in our own.Show more