This is a beautiful story of life, love, and loss. If you appreciate beautiful prose and stories about relationships and about what it is really like to live with both joy and pain, this is a great book for you. The characters are believable and likeable; the story is multi-faceted and takes place at different times during the lives of the characters. I didn't want it to end. I had read The Passage and The Twelve by the same author and liked his writing style so much that I went and found this first book of his. Totally different type of story, but the character development in those two other books was similar to this one, which is what made me look for it.
After reading "The Summer Guest". which I loved, by Cronin, I ordered this book. While it is interesting and well written I felt it wandered all over the place. It was based what had happened to Mary and O'Neil before they met that formed the persons they were and how it would impact their lives together. I found O'Neil's Father much more interesting than he was and wished the Father's role had been larger. I do recommend it but not with the gusto that I recommended "the Summer Guest".