Some good characters, but too much "steam" and not enough substance for my taste.
This is a really well-written book; it's like an onion - as you get into it, layers peel away, exposing a deeper substance. This is Jo Goodman's first contemporary novel; I'm not into contemporary but decided to give it a try because of the interesting premise of the book.
What I REALLY like about Jo Goodman's stories is the fact that the hero is rarely an alpha male. It makes for a much more interesting story - most books have heroes in charge of everything.
Thea Wyndham is a high-powered business woman, co-owning a successful ad agency. Beta personality Mitch Baker is a political cartoonist. Each of these people is best friend to one of Reasoners - Kate and Gabe -- a couple with 3 children.
Mitch and Thea have met through the Reasoners but are not friends. When Gabe and Kate die suddenly in a car crash, Mitch and Thea find themselves guardians of the three grieving children. Mitch immediately takes them into his home; Thea prefers to send money and keep her distance.
Both Mitch and Thea have significant others as the story begins. Constantly taking care of the children puts a strain on Mitch's relationship. Thea and her significant other are engaged and have decided not to have children. Thea's personality screams "Ice Queen."
And then the back stories emerge -- which puts a new spin on everything. Goodman makes use of nuances in feelings, meanings and tone in this story to create a wonderful novel.
I'm glad I read the book, but hope Goodman sticks with historical stories in the future. It is obvious; however, that she can handle the contemporary just as well as the historical. 4.5 stars
A bit steamy in parts, but an enjoyable read.