This is a book about an ordinary BBQ on an ordinary day. In attendance were 6 adults (3 couples) and 3 children. Then something happened that day that changed it from ordinary into horrible. It became a horrible day.
This book is pretty slow. The narrative goes back and forth touching on all the people that were at this BBQ and some additional people as well. The author does a great job of writing different voices for all of these narratives, so it flows smoothly and does not seem forced. The book also jumps back to the BBQ and then to present day (I can't remember how far in from the BBQ but I want to say like 4-6 months or something). In the past the relationships of some of the characters are so different from how they are in the present. The author slowly tells the story of the BBQ, the same time she is telling about the fallout from that day. It is kept a big secret what happened, and when you find out it was something terrible, but you thought it was going to be something much, much worse. The present day shows the strength and weaknesses of the couples and how one event can alter so many people's lives. Even at the very end of the book, one last secret is told, but we do not know the effects that that secret will have in the future.
It was a good book, but I guess I expected more. It built up so slowly to this event, that even though it was horrible, it didn't seem horrible enough to justify all the tension she had built up (if you have read this, don't judge me. I am not saying it wasn't a horrid event). I kind of felt like, what that's it? Maybe I am used to books that have a stronger thriller quality to them or something.
The characterization in this book was amazing though. Everyone had so many dimensions and seemed like solid humans, flawed but trying. She really knows how to write people.
I am definitely going to keep reading this author, I just felt like she wasted an opportunity for a little something more here.