In some ways this is a story we’ve all heard before: seven or eight years in, a marriage is on the rocks. But the particulars of this novel make the story fresh and engaging.
Jack and Beth aren’t quite opposites, but their responses to the difficulties of life are quite different. Beth, a college professor, likes to plan, prepare, keep things orderly. Jack is not a planner, and he can be downright impulsive. He also doesn’t finish things. The last straw for Beth is when Jack buys the house across the street. Now there are two houses for him to tinker with–another house that can have a plywood wall and half re-done kitchen.
Jack and Beth have long been friends with one of Beth’s colleagues, Rena, and her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Terry. When Beth leaves Jack and their autistic son, she moves in with Terry. Jack and Terry are still friends, and the two men even continue to with their occasional business deals. Jack soon drifts into a relationship with Rena, a woman who does nothing to check Jack’s crazier angels. As Jack juggles his business, his son whose development takes a sharp turn for the better, and his relationships with Beth, Rena, and Terry, he begins renovating the new house–and its yard. Jack’s vision exceeds his expertise, and disaster at the new house is just barely averted. Both Jack and Beth learn something in their time apart, but as they reconcile the reader is sure that there will still be some misadventures ahead.
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.