Helen Hansen, a nice woman who works with juvenile delinquents, is dying of brain cancer. He husband Elliott decides to have a party at a resort in New Hampshire to celebrate their twentieth anniversary (and let their friends say tacit good-byes). Their daughter Abby, soon to be a college sophomore, makes the trip with them and has a dalliance with a waiter at the resort before hooking up with one of Helen's former delinquents.
It's a set-up for a moving story...or at least a tearjerker, but I found myself unaffected (maybe even bored) with the Hansen family and their friends. Maybe someone else who has read the book can explain why I should feel more.
He [Elliott] was very proud of her [Abby, his daughter], and that was easier than liking her sometimes. Obviously he loved her; that was a given. But liking ebbed and flowed--she could be impossible--and even his love had conditions. Helen would have thought Abby perfect no matter what she did, but Elliott felt he loved Abby more when she was achieving something. He thought this was a parent's duty. Because what else was the point of life? . . . Also, when Abby was achieving something, she was less of the disconcerting female that adolescene had made her--self-conscious, defensive, moody--and more something he could understand.
Yikes--that captures a certain kind of parent who scares me.