Set in Pittsburg, Emily Maxwell is an 80 year old recent widow, mother, grandmother, sister-in-law and owner of an aging dog. Her life seems to have become stuck in a rut as of late. She is challenged to rediscover her independence when her sister-in-law Arlene faints while out for their routine breakfast buffet and ends up hospitalized. Emily has become accustomed to being chauffeured around town by Arlene, so now she has to find courage to begin driving again herself. As Emily begins her role as caregiver to Arlene, it prompts some new changes in her life. O’Nan is able to clearly portray the emotions and feelings of regret, pride, joy and sorrow that an 80 year old woman would be experiencing, but in a lighthearted compassionate way. The reader is not depressed but encouraged to see Emily continuing to branch out and continue to learn and develop even in her final years. She is often reflective, imagining the future when she is no longer there, but resigned to whatever may be.
Reviewed by CS