Small towns all have their stories, and for two decades, in Sycamore, Ariz., Jess Winters was theirs. Jess and her mother moved into town after her father fell in love with someone new and left them to start a new family. The hope is that a fresh town might provide a fresh start.
Jess has a hard time getting over her feelings of abandonment and her mother, Maud, can barely keep her own life together, sleeping more than she’s awake. To try to relieve her pain, Jess often takes late night walks and one night, she doesn’t return. After 20 years of waiting, Jess’ body is found, bringing the town together as family and bringing a small sense of closure.
This novel brilliantly moves back and forth through time to reveal the residents’ lives in Sycamore and their relationship to Jess and later, to her mother. We learn about the small town love affairs — some ordinary, some lovely, some forbidden — and we learn about the nature of betrayal and forgiveness, and the power of friendship. This moving and multi-layered novel is perfect for all book clubs.
Sycamore, by Bryn Chancellor. Harper/HarperCollins; ISBN 978-0-06266-109-8; $26.99.
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