A Long Thaw: Book Review

A Long Thaw

Katie O'Rourke

A multi-generational story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family.

A Long Thaw is about two female cousins who were close as children and reconnect as adults. Abby and Juliet were born into one big, close, Catholic family. But the divorce of Juliet’s parents fragments this family and sends the girls in very different directions.

Juliet grows up too quickly, on the west coast, forced to be responsible for her younger sisters as well as an alcoholic, single mother. On the east coast, Abby grows up a pampered, sheltered only child. As women, they try to mend the rift and come to terms with the way their shared history connects them in spite of the years apart.

My Review: Cousins Abby and Juliet have reconnected after years of separation. As secrets from the past are revealed, an entire family is forced to reevaluate their lives and face an uncomfortable truth. This story is about the bonds of family and how the past shapes the future.

This is the second book I've read by Katie O'Rourke, and I love the way she consistently builds realistic characters I can root for. From the outside looking in, Abby has her act together, but her love life paints a different tale. She knows what she wants but doesn't always articulate her needs. Juliet is the character I could sympathize with the most, and by far, she is the most complex. She's an interesting mix of street smart and naive. A difficult childhood has left her wise beyond her years in some ways, but far behind in other areas.

The strong, closeknit family suffers a blow when a huge secret is revealed. Hurt and betrayal drive a wedge between them, but the love is still there. While one character's mistakes might seem unforgivable, there is more to the story. In this book, as in real life, there is always more to every story, and O'Rourke reminds us that things aren't always what they seem to be. Sometimes decisions have unintended consequences that change the course of your life.

If you're looking for a thought-provoking, well-written novel, I would highly recommend this book.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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