Top positive review
Mothers and daughters, interesting story
April 14, 2016
Amy goes from Washington to Alabama to see her mother, who is dying, and from whom she is distanced. They have no anger or anything, it's just that they don't communicate or share very much or well. When she arrives, her mother will only talk to her by phone, and gives her instructions to sell off the items in her thrift shop first. Amy complies, because her mother was always specific about things, and she begins to learn little things about her mother's life since she moved to Alabama a decade before. She also discovers her mother's belongings in storage, and begins to piece together the mystery/history of her mother's life, which truly is the focus of this story. Cassie had made up her own "truth" about her background, remaking herself by learning from library books. In Amy's search through Cassie's belongings, the story jumps time to tell her story as a teen, a young woman at work, then a newlywed, and a young mother. I will not spoil the ending because what happens with the thrift shop and the neighborhood is really cool. It's a good book. I like it, DO read it!!
Critique is that it takes place in Alabama and not in the San Juan Islands, so I'm not sure why it's part of that series; I wondered often if Amy ever thought of herself as being one of Cassie's Cast-offs or having been cast away herself since her mother didn't do much to keep in contact with her after divorcing Amy's dad; and there's not much about Amy herself as in what she ever studied or chose to do in her life, is she a writer, a nurse, fishmonger, a gambler? We know more about David's activities than hers.