When the Walsh siblings make the hard decision to move their father into a care facility, the youngest sibling Beth volunteers to clean out the family home. Beth is on maternity leave and figures taking on this challenge will help her get through her days because she finds herself struggling more and more with motherhood. When she discovers the door to the attic is padlocked and they have to essentially break in, she finds paintings and dark, depressing diary entries scattered among candy wrappers and other junk causing her to question everything she knew about her mother and her childhood.
Told in two different timelines, Beth as a mother in 1996, and her mother Grace, in 1957. Grace is young and in love, ultimately marrying and having several children very close together. Each diary entry sheds light on a struggling wife and mother, drowning in problems and dealing with them all on her own. Maternal health and societal expectations were very different in the 50’s and 60’s but Beth finds herself recognizing some of her own struggles written in her mom’s diary.
While I ultimately enjoyed the story and the family dynamics, this was a very heavy and emotional book to read. It deals with postpartum depression and Alzheimer’s/Dementia. At times, this book was too much to handle and I had to take a break from reading for a couple days. If you enjoy family dramas with a little mystery thrown in, give this one a try.
Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for my copy.