From Publishers Weekly
An elusive heirloom cradle symbolizes childhood’s pains and possibilities in Somerville’s spare, elegant first novel (after a story collection, Trouble). Marissa, pregnant with her first child, becomes obsessed with tracking down the antique cradle her mother took when she abandoned the family a decade earlier. Marissa’s husband, Matt, is sure he’s been dispatched on a fool’s errand, but his journey soon connects him to Marissa’s family and his own history of abandonment, neglect and abuse amid a string of foster homes and orphanages. Matt’s quest through four states is interwoven with another drama that takes place 11 years later, in 2008, in which poet and children’s author Renee Owen is haunted by memories of war and a lost love as she prepares to send her son off to fight in Iraq. Again, long-buried secrets come to the surface, one of which poignantly links the two story lines. Though the connection will not shock, Somerville’s themes of a broader sense of interconnectivity and the resultant miracles of everyday existence retain their strength and affirm the value of forming and keeping families. (Mar.)
# Paperback: 224 pages
# Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (April 12, 2010)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0316036110
Apparently it helps if you closely read the book description before reading the book. I spent 90% of the time confused as hell because the time lines of the two stories were not lining up. I think it would have been a stronger book if the two stories were not happening 11 years apart. The story of Marissa and Matt is o.k. although there was much more character development for Matt than for Marissa. Quite honestly I didn’t like Marissa at all. In my opinion she was a selfish bitch and maybe just a little crazy. Matt is a stand up guy and will do whatever his wife ask so he goes on an adventure to track down the cradle. In the end they don’t even end up with the cradle, but with something else–I’ll let you read the book to find out what that is. I don’t know….I guess this wasn’t really the book for me, but I did finish it.
DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from Hatchette for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.