A lonely woman estranged from her family finds a friendship that could change her life, in an emotional novel by the author of The Third Hill North of Town.
Hester Parker resides in an elegant Victorian house in the town of Bolton, Illinois. She spends her evenings listening to Mahler and Chopin, drinking subpar Merlot, and reflecting on a life that has suddenly fallen apart. At seventy-one, Hester is as brilliant and sharp-tongued as ever, capable of inspiring her music students to soaring heights or reducing them to tears with a single comment. But her wit can’t hide the bitterness that comes with loss—the loss of her renowned violinist husband, Arthur Donovan, who left her for another woman, and the loss of her career as a concert pianist after injuring her wrist.
In this home that holds so many memories, Hester and Arthur raised three volatile children—Paul, a talented, neurotic cellist; Caitlin, an accomplished literary professor who inspires both dread and worship among her students; and Jeremy, sweet, spirited, and as musically gifted as his parents. But since the divorce, Hester’s relationships with them have grown more distant.
When Hester decides to rent out the attic apartment to Alex, a young college student, she has no idea of the impact he will have on her life and her family. Alex soon becomes an unlikely confidant and a means of reconnecting with the world outside Hester’s window. But his presence also exposes old memories and grief that Hester has tried to bury. Over the course of one remarkable month, Hester will confront angry accusations, long-hidden jealousies, and the inescapable truth that tore her family apart—and might, against all odds, help reconcile them again.