The father is absent a lot and the mother has completely disappeared. The book does not explain what caused this schism until nearly the end. A sad little household evolves into an even sadder household when the father suddenly marries a woman with two little girls. Danny and Maeve are very close and the book dwells a lot on their relationship. Since there is not a lot of plot, I will leave it here but say I found it a very satisfying read, especially through the voice of Tom Hanks. I grew up and went to school in the area that the book takes place in but I don't think that mattered too much. I have liked all of Patchett's work. And all of Tom Hanks' movies. If they ever make A Wonderful Life over again, Hanks should play George. And Ivanka comparing her father to him is the greatest misunderstanding of character I ever remember.
Find more First Wednesday Reviews at Barrie Summy's blog.