finished reading

This is such a good book!  I couldn't put it down.  I won't say much about it, because I don't want to spoil it.  The relationship between Ethan and Barb is complex yet tender.  There is so much love.  This is a book about mental health--particularly how childhood trauma shapes our adult lives.  But it's also about patience, forgiveness, infertility, and compassion.  I loved the idea of the travel vacation, too.

From the publisher:
A tour-de-force post-pandemic novel about love and the yearning for connection and the ways that childhood trauma plays out in adult life.

When introverted, eccentric Ethan Fawcett falls in love with the vivacious Barb, he has every reason to believe he will be delivered from a lifetime of solitude. But then the global pandemic hits, and their relationship takes a turn for the worse. Ethan grows obsessed with providing the perfect life for their adopted 8-year-old twins, Tommy and Sam. And he pushes Barb away, unable to share with her the secret he harbors about his parents’ untimely deaths. Once the planet returns to a version of normalcy, Ethan takes Tommy and Sam on a week-long biking adventure in Italy. During this disastrous excursion, it becomes clear just how unusual Ethan and his children are—and what it will take for Ethan to repair his marriage. This hauntingly beautiful novel—about loneliness and connection—is also filled with humor and surprise. Reminiscent of the best works by Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett, and Jane Smiley, it is a poignant, page-turning debut that, above all, is a bold and highly original literary high-wire feat.

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