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Mullins (The Rug Merchant) creates a thematically heavy but emotionally vacant web of connections in her second novel. For siblings Oliver and Mary, a series of tragedies defines their childhood. On the same day that a neighborhood girl dies, their pathologist father also dies suddenly, leaving their mother to abandon the adoption of what would be the family's third child. Twenty-one years later, Mary, a flight attendant, maintains a safe cruising altitude above the pain and loss that, to her, characterize life. Oliver, obsessed with finding his lost brother, helps grieving families memorialize loved ones by creating video tributes to their lives. Oliver's encounter with Miranda, a beautiful young photographer-artist, is the first of a series of interactions among strangers who might become something more. Mullins's novel is an extended exploration of similar connections made and missed, but the author is more focused on driving home her ideas than developing her characters, who come across as thematic functionaries. The emotional vacuum left in the wake of Mullins's dedication to her ideas makes this a difficult book to get into. (Feb.)
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Oliver is only seven when his father announces the family will adopt a baby boy. But when Oliver’s father suddenly dies, his mother finds she can no longer keep the baby and gives him away. It’s now 21 years later and Mom is remarried to the next-door neighbor, and Oliver is obsessed with finding his “almost brother.” While watching Jared, a young man believed to be the baby from years ago, Oliver meets and begins a relationship with Miranda, a quirky photographer who sends letters to strangers asking to take pictures of them in their homes. Oliver eventually confronts Jared with the adopted-brother theory and sets in motion events that will ultimately lead to unforeseen tragedy for Jared and Oliver’s families. A pair of seemingly disconnected side stories that add to the somber mood of Mullins’ novel eventually intertwine in odd and unexpected ways. In all, Mullins has created a bittersweet, poignant, and curious tale about how strangers can impact our lives, and how love and forgiveness have the power to renew. --Carolyn KubiszSee all Editorial Reviews
Mullins has the ability to describe characters and settings which pulls you into the story. This book will appeal to women of any age.Published 16 months ago by SALLY MACK
Enjoyed the book, but took forever to get my interest. Thought it should have a more complete end to it.Published on February 2, 2013 by Kathleen Howard
This was a huge struggle to read the book, but I felt that I did like it once I did finish it. I wish it hadn't been so quirky, and instead of conveying so many thoughts of the... Read morePublished on April 14, 2010 by Jodi
There is some lyrical writing in this novel, and some of the characters might have been suggested by Anne Tyler (not a bad thing) but, ultimately, the writer does not have control... Read morePublished on February 19, 2010 by Yours Truly