When I first picked up this novel, I wasn't feeling it. I didn't think I was in the mood for another suburban melodrama. I was surprised to find myself sucked into this story of a divorced woman, living in the Boston suburbs during the 1950s who finds her life uprooted when a neighborhood boy goes missing. The ending--in which the great mystery of what happened to the child is revealed--is not nearly as satisfying as the journey to get there. I was more interested in Ava’s life and struggles as a single woman, trying to raise a child and make it on her own during a time when her lifestyle was looked on as quite scandalous. I shudder to think that many real women had to live like her, with neighbors and coworkers looking down their noses in judgement. I think the novel shines in its chapters that focus on Ava, as she struggles, but ultimately comes into her own and finds a way to be quite successful and even happy. The chapters focusing on her son Lewis, dragged a bit for me. He came off as quite whiny, but I guess given his life experiences--a father who ran out on him and his only friend disappearing--it is somewhat understandable.
Overall, I found this was an enjoyable read, and I’m glad I decided to try it out, even though it wasn't speaking to me at the beginning.