Plot: 4 Characters: 4 Writing:4
Solid, well-written, historical fiction with an emphasis on family in times of duress. The Brights – Thomas and Pauline and their daughters Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa – leave their rural life to join Thomas’ uncle in his undertaking business in Philadelphia. The time is 1918.
Told through the alternating perspectives of the women in the family over the next 8 years, the story weaves through mortuaries, speakeasies, mental institutions, and hospitals as the community reels from the double crises of WWI (and the expanded draft) and the Spanish Flu pandemic and slowly heals by knitting itself together in new and unexpected configurations.
Good storytelling, heartfelt characters, and many surprising plot twists. Strong themes concerning family, loss, love, and finding the life you were meant to read. Worth reading.