Continuing my education in the genre of women’s fiction:
I absolutely loved this book. Antalek takes us from adolescence through early adulthood and beyond in the lives of a group of friends. Her tightest focus is on Sam, Suzie and Bella, but we also get to know the rest of their group, along with many of their parents. It’s impossible not to care deeply about these three characters as they scrabble over the knee-skinning boulders of messed-up families, broken relationships, coming apart and together again. Antalek takes us through the trials of teenaged lust, misunderstanding, ambition, lack thereof, thwarted ambition, unused talents, sibling love/rivalry, addiction, and parental decline: the ordinary stuff of which life is made, and all of it deeply resonant without lapsing into schmaltz. An outstanding book.