St. Martin's, Nov 2004, 24.95, 373 pp.
Three months ago freelance artist Sophie accompanied her husband Paul when his job caused him to relocate from Washington DC to Portland, Maine. After the hustle and bustle of the big city with the Metro to get around, Sophie finds the solitude disturbing. With so much time on her hands to brood and no place to go, Sophie worries that her spouse's new assistant bubbly yet effective Natalie seems to get more of Paul's attention and admiration than his wife receives from him.
Depressed, Sophie several times calls her sister and her best friend, but neither lifts her from her doldrums while her mother-in-law Pepper adds spice to Sophie's already churning stomach. Desperate to get her mind off of her concerns Sophie joins a local walking club where she meets Ned who struggles with his own going nowhere relationship with a geographically distant girlfriend.
This engaging character study looks at how a geographical change can impact relationships. Sophie goes from having no time to complete anything to having too much time causing her to brood and fret. The story line fully focuses on Sophie who holds the tale together while the rest of the cast predominantly relate to her. Fans of deep family dramas will appreciate the wry humorous asides inside the serious subject of the impact of relocating on marriage.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner