An unconventional love story frames this graceful, funny, and
moving novel by a writer of exceptional talent. Rita, a hair
stylist in her 20s attuned to the suffering of others and the ways
that she can help, meets John Reed who, she observes, though not
yet out of his thirties, ..".seemed old, the way all sad people
do." As they come to know, trust, and eventually love one another,
John tells Rita "his only story," the one story that each of us
tells that defines us the most. In a dark, terrible moment five
years earlier, John's brother Roger killed his own wife and then
himself, orphaning their then 3-year-old daughter, Aileen. After
Aileen is adopted by her dead mother's close-knit trio of sisters,
John is excluded from contact with her in memory of his brother's
tragic act. With Rita's help, ties are slowly reestablished with
Aileen, and John and Rita's own relationship moves in a direction
that seems at once inevitable and completely unexpected. An
exploration of love, sacrifice, and the bonds of family which will
appeal to readers of Lorrie Moore, Ann Hood, and Rosellyn Brown,
Monica Wood's novel speaks to our deepest longing and brightest
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