After a slightly slow start, this book sucked me in and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. Charlotte Harris shows up at Dory's Martha Vineyard home planning to end her own life to spend purgatory with her unbaptized daughter. I had a rough time with the depth of her depressions and despondency at the beginning of the novel. Getting to know these women, who are getting reacquainted after their separate lives for the past ten years, you feel like you are there on the island with them. No one is quite how they seem and the past is never totally in the past, but what is really important always seems to come through.
These women are straining against what is expected of them, the sacrifices they feel they need or must make to achieve their goals and the idea of faith. Each of them has had a different experience with the church and faith, Charlotte believes in the church teaching so forcefully that she is willing to make many sacrifices to make sure her daughter's soul will be able to ascend to heaven while Turner has very little faith in things she can't see and touch and is looking for something to believe in without even knowing it.
These women are drawn together and become closer during their summer, after Charlotte tells her how the fisherman saw her savior when she had reached rock bottom. Turner writes about the incident on her blog and all of a sudden a spark is lit. When he also intercedes on Dory's behalf and Turner again records it something is set in motion that cannot be stopped and the pace just picks up.
It is hard to write about the book without revealing where the story is going, but it is so satisfying as it goes along that I would hate to rob anyone of the surprises. This book kept me up late for the past two nights because I got into it so deeply that I forgot to pay attention to the time.