Ben, aged 28, returns home after many years, still bitter about the divorce of his parents, Lenny and Natasha. He meets Lenny's new young bride, Anita, and is troubled to find himself attracted to her. His dismay deepens when he learns that his mother Natasha, once a brilliant pianist who he'd thought was on a world concert tour, is instead in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimers.
The story is told alternately through two points of view, Ben's and Anita's. Though uneducated, Anita is a diamond in the rough character who's had a tough life. She's likeable, and feels alone because Lenny, a writer, is self-centered and distant. Lenny has encouraged Ben and Anita to record their thoughts on a tape recorder, which is how we hear their two points of view. Too late, the pair discover that Lenny is listening to their tapes and putting them into his own writing - likely fabricating his own novel from the thoughts of his unhappy son and equally unhappy new wife. How to deal with this heartbreaking, tangled web?
This eloquently written tale provides a look into the long-term emotional scars a broken home leaves on everyone involved. The author's skill shows in her depiction of the three alternating voices of Lenny, Ben and Anita. They are all very different voices, yet each conveys the complex love that both binds them and tears them apart. Highly recommended!