About the book:
When There's Nothing Left But Memories... Andie Phelps is the envy of Santa Barbara. A devoted mother with a loving son and a successful husband, her greatest joy comes from reaching out to others... Melanie Johnston is the envy of no one. A single mom who works long hours to pay the bills, and her greatest joys relate to her teen daughter and son. Then the accident that changes everything. When opposite worlds collide, the impact reaches far beyond these mothers' personal losses. Two wounded women...Two families seeking hope...A community torn apart... How far will they go to fulfill...A Promise to Remember.
A compelling and touching debut novel. Two women see their worlds collide when their sons are killed in a car accident. Andie is a wealthy stay at home mom with money and prestige who volunteers her time in the community, but has lost her only child. Melanie is a single mother with little material wealth, struggling to raise her son and daughter. While we never get all the details of the accident, the implication is strong that Andie's son caused it.
The story opens after the accident, as each woman is trying to come to terms with her grief. Melanie, in an attempt to create a legacy for her son, sues Andie and her husband for wrongful death. Both women are part of the same community and that community splits as it takes sides in support of each woman.
Andie and her husband are Christian and church-going. Melanie's son was Christian, but she is not. The story explores faith and forgiveness in an almost off-hand manner. While I think the rich vs. poor aspect is too stereotypical here, I also think that Kathryn Cushman did an incredible job of portraying how grief can tear families apart.
An easy but thought-provoking read.
Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow. You can purchase your own copy here.
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