From Publishers Weekly
Willis (A Good Distance) gracefully explores the world of foster care through the eyes of 48-year-old Alice Marlowe, an interpreter for the deaf living a lonely life in Cleveland. When Alice receives a late-night phone call from a six-year-old girl whose mother has disappeared, the last thing she expects to do is apply to become her foster parent, but one look at beautiful, dark-skinned Larissa Benton changes everything. Alice's maternal impulse surprises her—"How did this child and I become us?" she wonders—as she attends foster parenting classes and wonders if she can cope. Willis allows for ambiguity in her moving story: when Michelle, Larissa's white, wayward mother, returns, she's neither a villain nor a victim; Alice, who converses with her dead twin brother, is not a saint. When Michelle moves into Alice's home to be closer to her daughter, the narrative reaches its height of tension; Willis shows both the safety and generosity of Alice's world and the unpredictable but loving home that Michelle would provide. A careful, tender story of the complex bonds of motherhood, this novel doesn't shy away from its problems, but still comes to rest on the side of its wonders.
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A careful, tender story of the complex bonds of motherhood. -- Publishers Weekly
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I've loved all her books and this one most of all. -- Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club
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