Review by Booklist Review
Schwarz's second novel (after Near Canaan, 1990) powerfully intertwines the stories of three apparent strangers. Ben is a bright and precocious 6-year-old when he attends a friend's birthday party and becomes the only survivor of the murderous rampage that also took the life of his mother. The trauma of the incident has left him with no memory of the event or any of his life before arriving at the hospital. Lucy, a trauma resident, feels a strong connection to Ben, but she isn't sure exactly why or how she can help him. She's not exactly in the best place to heal a child with severe psychological trauma. She can barely handle her own. In a nearby nursing home, Clare is about to turn 100 years old. No one alive really knows her, not even her real name and that's how she likes it. But if no one is left to tell her story, will she have really ever lived? Schwarz blends beautifully crafted prose with three highly compelling tales into one overarching saga of loss and memory.--Platt, Diana Copyright 2018 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Schwarz (Near Canaan), a specialist in emergency medicine, blends a clear-eyed acceptance of life's pain and cruelties with a hopeful message about the enduring power of love in this rich and memorable novel. In Providence, R.I., ER physician Lucy is adrift following the dissolution of her marriage. She forges a surprising but firm bond with six-year-old Ben, the only survivor of a party where everyone else was murdered, who's unable to recall the crime. Across town, Clare, a nursing home resident, decides to observe her 100th birthday by recording the closely guarded details of her life. As she and Ben reveal their stories, it becomes clear they have met in Ben's past life, and that Lucy may be the key to reuniting them at last. Schwarz's prose is assured and lyrical, infusing each narrative with sensory and emotional detail. However, that same detail also dilutes the main story line, making the moment when these narratives finally intersect feel somewhat rushed. Nevertheless, readers who enjoy the works of Susanna Kearsley and M.J. Rose will find much to enjoy. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.