When Char’s husband dies suddenly, she finds herself wondering about the fate of her husband’s daughter, Allie, whom she has raised like her own the past six years and loves dearly. Allie’s biological mother lives across the country and has had little to do with Allie after divorcing her father. Nevertheless, Char has no legal claim so she knows anything might happen.
As Allie’s biological mother procrastinates, Char begins to hold back her own feelings of longing to keep Allie, wanting her to have a more neutral feeling about going to live with her negligent mother. In the meantime, a girl Allie is tutoring and for whom she has grown fond is acting out in harmful ways in response to having lived with a long series of foster families. In the end, Char must deal with her own grief while trying to provide maternal care for two damaged girls.
This novel is a beautiful telling of the ways families are formed. Book clubs that enjoy exploring relationships will love this novel.
Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer. G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House; ISBN 978-0-39917-627-2; $26.
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