At the age of twelve, Sara Boyd loses her forty-year-old father. For herself and her younger brother and sister, his death is their first brush with tragedy. This is an event which will stay with them for the rest of their lives, and his loss will ultimately affect all of their future relationships in one way or another.
As an adult, Sara realizes that her father's early death is actually the catalyst for her mother's frequent bouts of madness; and in turn, each of these manic episodes increasingly disturb Sara's own life - unduly straining both her marriage and family. When her husband subsequently becomes seriously ill, Sara draws on her past experiences to find the renewed strength to carry on.
I enjoyed reading this book very much; I found it to be a very poignant, well-told story. This book has been described as six interrelated short stories, but I think it would be far more accurate to describe them as six short vignettes in Sara's life. Each vignette is gut-wrenching in its own way, but doesn't necessarily seem to me to be excessively maudlin. I give this book an A+! and would be very interested to read the sequel, Sailing, if at all possible.