After finishing this book I remember why I love Alice Hoffman so much. She lures the reader in to the lives of very complex characters with such simple language that I often forget I'm reading a book; I feel like I'm being told a story.
But what a dysfunctional family! Each resident of the Compound was so haunted by their search for a love that they didn't know what to do with it once they received it. I did end with the feeling that it is never to late to learn to love. No matter how damaged and imperfect you are when it arrives, it can break a cycle that has lasted for years. Never give up.
This is a vivid portrait of 3 generations in a family separated by loneliness, hope, and betrayal. Esther the Whit is the cold matriarch who fled a cruel life in Russia only to rule lovelessly over her own family.
Phillip is the son she cannot understand, a man with an overwhelming desire to drown himself in the ocean's inviting waters every summer.
Phillips's daughter is barely 18 and desperate to escape the confines of her grandmother's harsh criticism.