Geographies of the Heart, a review by Sherry

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Geographies of the Heart
Caitlin Hamilton Summie


297 pages
Fomite Press
Published January 18, 2022

Amazon | Goodreads

What an interesting book.  It’s the story of family and aging, which is quite ordinary, but told in a unique way.  I’m not sure if it is meant to be, but this almost reads like interconnected short stories about two sisters, their parents and children.  I am an only child and love reading about different takes on adult siblings.  This shows the good, bad and ugly of family.  Those you choose for yourself and those that you are given.  How the dynamics of family shape you and how you pass that along.

At times you want to look away and at other times I could definitely relate.  I smiled and shed a tear as the family grew and changed and struggled to stay a family.  It made me miss my grandma.   I loved that there was a family quilt passed down and added to by the women inthe family.  Such a rich tradition.

This book will stay with me for a while.

About the book:

Sarah Macmillan always puts family first, but she can’t quite stretch her arms wide enough to hold on to everyone as they all age: her career-minded, inattentive younger sister, Glennie; their grandparents, who are slowly fading; or a pregnancy Sarah desperately wanted. But it’s her tumultuous relationship with Glennie that makes Sarah feel the loneliest. She’d always believed that their relationship was foundational, even unbreakable. Though blessed with a happy marriage to Al, whose compassion and humor she admires, Sarah grows increasingly bitter about Glennie’s absences, until one decision forces them all to decide what family means—and who is family. Narrated by the chorus of their three voices, this elegantly told and deeply moving novel examines the pull of tradition, the power of legacies, and the fertile but fragile ground that is family, the first geography to shape our hearts.

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