I believe I got the idea to read this book from Lucy. She gives me a lot of good book ideas. Sometimes I think we are twins separated at birth, and by that I don't mean to be a creepy internet stalker but it is just strange how much alike we seem to be. We have never even met in person although my visiting teacher does happen to be her sister in law, which is a nice function of being in the small overlap of the two small worlds of Mormons and bloggers. Anyway, if we are in fact twins separated at birth, Lucy got all the volleyball genes and I got none. But we do both have book fetishes and destructive sons and husbands about to become real grownups, among other commonalities.
So I read this book, and it was touching and funny and desperately sad. I told my sister yesterday it is about parents and children and disasters. It is also about love and forgiveness, about our inabilities to speak and connect, about how we manage to give each other what we need and fail to do the same, about realizing in the worst of times how lucky we are and have been.
There is an absent presence in this book - the protagonist's mother. It is so beautifully resolved toward the end, I had to put the book down and cry for a while.
Here's Lucy's review, which is more detailed than mine.
I will just say this: you should read it.