From Publishers Weekly
A near-fatal accident in the dark of night—30-year-old Lizzy is struck in a hit-and-run—sets in motion a complicated, surprising story of love, loss and sacrifice. When Lizzy was two, her parents were killed in a plane crash, and she was sent to live with her beloved Uncle Mike, a Catholic priest. In prose as fresh and lovely as a Maine summer evening, Lizzy tells of seven halcyon years with her uncle. But when a bitter housekeeper falsely accuses Mike of sexually abusing Lizzy, her cozy world is shattered. Sent to live with relatives, Lizzy is told that Mike succumbed to the weak family heart and died. So how has he visited her in her hospital room after the hit-and-run? This, as well as the mystery of why Father Mike meekly accepted the accusations leveled against him, begins to come clear when Lizzy's accident and rehabilitation dredge up questions of another tragic event, long hidden. Following the structure of the Liturgy of the Hours from Invitatory to Matins, Wood (My Only Story
) employs a sophisticated, layered architecture, circling from present to past to reveal shocking truths. Interspersed with Lizzy's first-person narration are sections told from Uncle Mike's third-person perspective, which provide mesmerizing insight into what is known and what is remembered. Wood's story unassumingly builds in power, right up to its moving final page.
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The victim of a hit-and-run accident, Lizzy Mitchell is left by the driver in the middle of the median, hurt and adrift. Later Lizzie comes to see the accident as indicative of her life up to that point. Raised by her uncle Mike, a Maine priest, Lizzy grows up surrounded by his devotion to ministry. But at age nine, her comfortable world crumbles when her uncle is accused of molestation. Lizzy, now a high-school counselor, is still trying to make sense of what happened to her uncle. Wood's characters, similar to those in Mary Lawson's Crow Lake
(2002), show refreshing depth and complexity as they each grapple with the irrefutable power of the past. This emotional story is filled with crisp, rich details that linger in the memory much like the Moxie soda that Lizzy recalls from her Maine summers. Wood's stirring domestic drama is full of surprises as it explores the weighty themes of religion, perceived innocence, and the corrosive quality of best intentions. Misha StoneCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved