Red Hook Road
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A rich and rewarding story of love, loss, and the power of family from the bestselling author of Bad Mother and Love and Other Impossible Pursuits.
In the aftermath of a devastating wedding day, two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, find their lives unraveled by unthinkable loss. Over the course of the next four summers in Red Hook, Maine, they struggle to bridge differences of class and background to honor the memory of the couple, Becca and John. As Waldman explores the unique and personal ways in which each character responds to the tragedy—from the budding romance between the two surviving children, Ruthie and Matt, to the struggling marriage between Iris, a high strung professor in New York, and her husband Daniel—she creates a powerful family portrait and a beautiful reminder of the joys of life.
Elegantly written and emotionally gripping, Red Hook Road affirms Waldman’s place among today’s most talented authors.
she disapproved. Any apprehension Ruthie expressed would be greeted with relief. There would be no opportunity for the unbiased consideration of the options that she actually sought. So instead of turning to her mother, Ruthie had found herself confiding once again in Mary Lou Curran. Mary Lou had gotten it into her head that the children’s room needed reorganizing, and the library director, all too aware of the fruitlessness of opposing one of Mary Lou’s ideas, had asked Ruthie to try to
forehead on the steering wheel, imagining the ice cream turning to soup in her reusable canvas shopping bag. After a few moments she put the car into reverse and headed back through town, turning sharply onto Red Hook Road. She drove quickly at first, taking the turns too fast, allowing her car to drift perilously close to the opposing lane. But as she approached Jacob’s Cove, she slowed to the speed limit, checked her mirrors, and began to pay close attention to oncoming traffic. When she
sound of his music than the cool and distant appearance of the musician. Onstage or off, with a violin in his hands or without, Mr. Kimmelbrod had always been tranquil and still. Even before the Parkinson’s had frozen his face into an expressionless mask, he maintained an impassive expression, one that revealed almost nothing. Mr. Kimmelbrod had always and thoroughly kept all emotion tamped down, so deeply hidden that it raised a near existential question. Could something be so thoroughly
under these odd circumstances. Was this a memorial, akin to a funeral? Or was it just the same old party the Copakens threw every year? Were they meant to talk about Becca and John, or to avoid bringing up their names? Was it okay to make chitchat about inconsequential things, or should they keep their voices low and somber? Iris, no surer of what the occasion demanded than her guests were, avoided conversation beyond the most bland and simple of greetings; she kept herself busy handing out
they had been stained with the juice of some wild berry. Over the last year, since she had taken on the project of Samantha’s musical career, Iris had often wondered about Connie: what she looked like, how she related to her daughter, what their relationship was like. Although she was nervous about the request she was about to make, she found herself eagerly crossing the room to join Connie in the corner where she had staked out three upright chairs. Samantha ran to her mother and hurled herself