From Publishers Weekly
Tucker's outstanding novel (after Shout Down the Moon
) is as structurally dextrous as it is emotionally satisfying, boasting a chorus of extraordinary voices and assured parallel plot lines separated by four decades. In the present day, 23-year-old Dorothea has left her overprotective father's secluded 35-acre New Mexico estate, called the Sanctuary, where she and her brother, Jimmy, had been sheltered from current news and all modern-day innovations. Searching for her runaway brother in St. Louis, Dorothea meets a recently widowed doctor-turned-cabbie, who introduces her to the vibrant outside world he's been trying to escape. A parallel tale set in the 1970s follows the budding romance between a successful film director and the waif who becomes his muse, his wife and the object of his obsessive control. The tour de force resolution that ties both stories together is a lyrically poignant reminder of the necessity of hope. An exceptionally empathetic storyteller, Tucker has created a haunting, gripping novel that brims with graceful writing and fragile characters. This should be catnip for book clubs, whether they devour it as a page-turner about parenting and family or discuss its subtle meditations on fate and coincidence, wealth and poverty, freedom and safety, fairy tales and American dreams.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In what may well be her breakout book, after Shout Down the Moon
(2004), the gifted Tucker tells a compelling love story with uncommon empathy and grace. Stephen Spaulding loses his family in a freak accident and with them any hope that his actions can make a difference. He gives up his medical practice and begins driving a cab. That's how he meets 23-year-old Dorothea, who seems to be dressed like a throwback to the 1950s, complete with saddle shoes. She's looking for her brother, who has run away from their New Mexico ranch. Stephen helps Dorothea track down the brother and, at the same time, learn why her father fled Hollywood, changing his children's names and keeping them completely isolated from the outside world. The plotline of the Hollywood story is, appropriately enough, over the top, but that detracts from the genuinely moving love story that develops between the wounded Stephen and the heartbreakingly naive Dorothea. Here's hoping the talented Tucker will rein in the melodrama the next time out. Joanne WilkinsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved