When you read the premise of this book, you go okayyyy... Not really sure that’s something I can get into. Because rootless aimless Lillian is summoned by her old school friend Madison to care for her 10yo step twins, who are inclined to combust. Madison, always rich, is married to Tennessee senator Jasper Roberts (always rich) who aims to be Secretary of State. The twins’ mother has died and a fireproof guesthouse has been prepared for them on the Roberts estate. Lillian’s parenting style is unusual, to say the least, and if bad language offends you, best steer clear. But there’s an honesty in her approach that wins the twins over and they form a bond that’s healing for all three. Basketball plays a big part.
All the characters are interesting and apart from Jasper, pretty clear eyed. Madison especially is very multi-layered. In its way, her home life was just as appalling as Lillian’s, yet here she is, determined to carve out the life path she wants and steering Jasper with considerable aplomb. Their little son Timothy is weird and becomes weirder but Madison is okay with that: much more pragmatic and enlightened than her husband. All in all a curious book but one that sucks you in as you race to the finish.
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