Harper. Apr. 2024. 400p. ISBN 9780063309616. $32. F
At 11, Honey saw her father strangle a man in their backyard. Her brother helped bury the man’s body. At 15, when Richie Verona raped her, her father found out and made her ride with them to an isolated New Jersey beach where he killed and disposed of Richie. Honey didn’t know it then, but she was pregnant. After college, she left her family, never looking back. Subsequent decades in the art auction business gave her culture, a spell as mistress to a much older man, and a lot of money. Eighty-two now but not looking or feeling her age, she has returned home to sort out her life. She doesn’t need them, but complications come anyway. With them also comes reassessment, especially regarding how she feels about her still toxic family. Unintended attachments come too: a love affair with a young painter; a neighbor who’s needy for love and can’t leave her abusive boyfriend; a hunt for a lost great-nephew who’s transitioning and has been roughed up by his father and kicked out of the family. At the tail end of a life spent hiding from commitment, Honey finally lets love in.
VERDICT Lodato (Mathilda Savitch) has written a stunning novel that begs for readers.
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