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Red Hook Road : a novel
Ayelet Waldman
Adult Fiction WALDMAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Waldman (Love and Other Impossible Pursuits) delivers a dense story of irreparable loss that tracks two families across four summers. After John Tetherly and Becca Copaken die in a freak car accident an hour after their wedding, their families are left to bridge stark class and cultural divides, and eventually forge deep-rooted bonds thanks to the twin deities of love and music. Becca's family is well off, from New York, and summers in Red Hook, Maine, a small coastal town where John's blue-collar single mother, Jane, cleans houses for a living. They interact, awkwardly, over how to bury the couple, the staging of an anniversary party, and over Jane's adopted niece, whose amazing musical talent makes a connection to Becca's ailing grandfather, a virtuoso violinist, who agrees to give her lessons. Becca's younger sister, Ruthie, a Fulbright scholar, meanwhile, falls in love with John's younger brother, Matt, the first Tetherly to go to college, before he drops out to work at a boatyard and finish restoring his brother's sailboat, which he plans on sailing to the Caribbean. Though Waldman is often guilty of overwriting here, the narrative is well crafted, and each of the characters comes fully to life. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

It's a beautiful summer day in Maine and perfect weather for the smiling young couple who just got married. Never mind that the groom's mother, Jane, doesn't really like John's marrying a "from awayer"-the name the locals give to people who just spend their summers in East Red Hook near the water. Jane is a Tetherly and, having lived her whole life in East Red Hook, considers her family real Mainers. The bride's mother, Iris Hewins Copaken, insists that she is native since her family's summer home was built in 1879, but since she and husband Daniel spend most of their time in New York City, Jane doesn't see it that way. Now, the guests are waiting for the young couple to show up, but when John's brother, Matt, arrives with two policemen, life as the Tetherlys and Copakens knew it ends. Over the course of four summers, they work through grief, new beginnings, and more loss. Verdict Waldman has written a tale of two families forced together through love and tragedy. Fans of Waldman's work and readers who enjoy family sagas will find this book a pleasure. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/10.]-Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Jane Tetherley
Single mother
Lost her son in a freak car accident an hour after his wedding; interacts with her son's wife's family over funeral arrangements; adopted her niece.
Cleaning lady

Ruthie Copaken
Lost her sister in a freak car accident an hour after her wedding; falls in love with Matt.

Matt Tetherley
Jane's son; lost his brother in a cr accident; dropped out of college to restore his brother's sailboat which he plans on sailing to the Caribbean.

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