The plot is more introspective than action. Hamilton has this gorgeous way of taking readers into the land of sorrow and letting them explore it, even if we have not faced the same depth of loss as the characters. Reactions feel real, especially the small children whose mother is gone all summer and good playmate has drowned. Though it was easy for me to feel distant from Alice, who seems purposefully odd, that final section brings her together in a way that makes her solidly human. Hamilton never makes it easy for her characters, which I appreciate, because even though I want things to work out, she chooses realistically instead of hopefully.

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