Friday 12 April 2024

The Half of It

Finished April 6
The Half of It by Juliette Fay

This novel is centered on fifty-eight-year-old Helen Spencer. Helen is the mother of three adult children, Barb, Sam, and Danny, and the grandmother of one. Before the pandemic hit, Helen's mother Annabella Iannucci had come to live with her family in North Carolina, but she died a few years after the move. When Helen's husband Jim died suddenly shortly afterward, Helen learned his secrets as well. 
The story starts in the present with an unexpected encounter with a man, Cal Crosby, from Helen's past. It then jumps back to Helen's girlhood where she joined track as a way to use the energy she had within her. We see her friendship with Francie Hydecker, a girl who went her own way, a way that included horses and ceramics. And we see the friendship that developed between teenage Helen and Cal. 
As the book moves back and forth between the present, where Helen is very involved in her daughter Barb's life, and Cal has also taken on a caregiving role with his young grandchildren, we learn what led to the rift between them, as well as what led to other rifts in Helen's life. 
As Helen begins to build a new life in Massachusetts, where she's moved to join Barb's family, she also reconnects with her past and must make choices that lead to new beginnings and new friendships.
Although it covers a lot of time, this book moves at a fairly quick pace, and the characters make the book come to life. This is a story of love, of regrets, and of hope.  

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