Details: Reading Group January book.
This is the story of two women, Meri and Delia.
Meri is 36 when she marries Nathan and very unsure about what she wants from life and expects from marriage. When she and Nathan buy a house they are told that their neighbours will be Senator Tom Naughton and his wife, Delia. A fact that really excites Nathan, who is a huge fan of the now retired Tom. However, they soon discover that Tom never spends any time with his wife in the house next door.
Meri soon strikes up a somewhat unlikely friendship with Delia. Where Meri is 36, a bit of a tomboy and uncertain about life, Delia is in her seventies, sophisticated and apparently very sure of her place in the world.
Despite those differences the two women grow close, although Delia seems to always be holding parts of herself back.
In a story told in turn by either Meri or Delia, we see the friendship grow, watch Meri abuse the trust placed in her and are helpless as events move towards a, for me rather predictable, painful climax.
This book left me mostly feeling indifferent. I didn't get to like either of the women enough to really care about how their story would unfold. I didn't understand either Meri or Delia's motives or actions and felt so removed from the story that I didn't want to try and understand them either.
The reasons the book appears to be giving for the way the two women are, a not ideal childhood, having been born to a certain generation and set of morals and love, seemed like nothing but stereotypes to me.
All of this didn't make this a hard to read book though. Sue Miller is a good enough writer to keep me turning the pages of a story, even when the characters leave me cold. But, I won't be rushing out to pick up another book by Sue Miller any time soon.