Over the years Trish and Ray have forged a stable family life, despite a rocky beginning almost twenty years earlier — living with their friends on a communal farm that ended badly. Now they are all coming to terms with life in their forties, but Trish has become angry and insecure. She suddenly finds herself faced with an ailing marriage, a teenaged daughter who would prefer to live with her alcoholic grandmother than at home, and an annoying half-sister, Olive, whom Trish has been taught to believe is no blood relation. This cheery take-charge half-sister, now living in Trish’s childhood summer home, seems bent on destroying the last shreds of Trish’s sense of self.
When a freak April snow storm hits Thunder Hill and the power goes out, Trish finds herself in a compromising situation with her hermit/hippie friend, Bear James, who also happens to be her husband’s closest friend. Later, when forced to seek refuge at her half-sister’s home, Trish feels she’s living a nightmare, one which drives her to face her past. Will the future hold anything for Trish other than that of becoming “a bitter old woman” and “immature freak,” accusations her daughter Gayl has flung at her recently?
“This whip-smart, straight-talking novel tackles the big questions we face in middle age. How we do keep love alive? How do we make peace with our past? How do we muster the courage to change our future? In her clear-eyed prose, Barnes Rose has written an edgy rural tale whose appeal is universal.”
—Neil Smith, author of Bang Crunch