We know more about the past of this family.
We know that Connie and Bill had an affair, which everybody in the family discovered. Jeanette took the matter dramatically, and Bill decided to stay with his wife and make it up to her whereas Connie disappeared and went to live in Bali. Noah explains to Roxana that Connie’s name was not uttered in his family as if she were a ghost. We can see that the attraction between Connie and Bill goes back a long way. When she was fifteen, Connie felt that Bill was not indifferent, and his gestures showed that she was right. It was only in that random encounter that Connie recalls when Bill finally acknowledged that there was something between them, and he gave free rein to his attraction. Even now we know that Bill is not indifferent to Connie. He loves Jeanette, but he silently admits to feel a frisson of excitement on seeing Connie.
We also learn that Connie left home when she was sixteen. She was in love with her sister’s fiancé, and unable to cope with seeing them happy together, she got herself a job in a publicity agency. She started as a errand’s girl, and even though living alone was far from being easy, she felt she couldn’t return to her family home. Her determination finally paid off, and she got to have a jingle which became a hit. I think that apart from wanting to keep away from her sister and Bill, I think another reason why Connie couldn’t stay in her home was that after her father died, she didn’t feel comfortable. Hilda was never too warm and generous in her appreciation, and she clearly favoured her own child over Connie, so it was no wonder that she wanted to leave.
I like the way the sisters’ relationship is developing now. They admit that they never had a good relationship as both of them were too angry. Jeanette didn’t like to share her parents with the baby her parents brought home, and when she knew about the adoption, she hated the fact that her parents hadn’t wanted another child like her because of her handicaps. Connie also admits that she was angry almost for the same reasons. It is nice to see that despite the grim circumstances, the two sisters are finally making their peace.
As for Noah, he and Roxana are now a couple. Roxana was reluctant to let him be more than a friend. We know that her experience with men has been difficult as we can guess that her stepfather abused her, and the men she has come across have not been good to her. She realizes that Noah is different, very kind to her, and for some reason she finally comes round the idea that he can be her boyfriend and that can be a good thing.
Noah takes her to meet her parents and Connie. Roxana likes his family, but the person who she likes most is Connie. For some reason she looks up to. Then when Roxana explains she is trying to find affordable accommodation, Connie offers her to stay in her spare bedroom, and although she is unsure, Roxana finally agrees and soon settles in Connie’s apartment. I am not sure what kind of feelings Roxana has for Noah. The young man is clearly besotted, but Roxana is ambivalent.
I am really enjoying the book. I love novels about families and their relationships, and I find this one quite engrossing even though nothing huge happens. I love the way the author describes the sensations and feelings of the characters.