August 7, 2007
The Rest of Her Life
The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty
Finished on 7/30/07
Rating: 2/5 (Below Average)
From the Publisher
In The Rest of Her Life, Laura Moriarty delivers a luminous, compassionate, and provocative look at how mothers and daughters with the best intentions can be blind to the harm they do to one another.
Leigh is the mother of high-achieving, popular high school senior Kara. Their relationship is already strained for reasons Leigh does not fully understand when, in a moment of carelessness, Kara makes a mistake that ends in tragedy -- the effects of which not only divide Leigh's family, but polarize the entire community. We see the story from Leigh's perspective, as she grapples with the hard reality of what her daughter has done and the devastating consequences her actions have on the family of another teenage girl in town, all while struggling to protect Kara in the face of rising public outcry.
Like the best works of Jane Hamilton, Jodi Picoult, and Alice Sebold, Laura Moriarty's The Rest of Her Life is a novel of complex moral dilemma, filled with nuanced characters and a page-turning plot that makes readers ask themselves, "What would I do?"
I'm not sure I would've picked up this ARC at work, had I not enjoyed Moriarty's debut novel, The Center of Everything, so well. The subject matter isn't exactly light and breezy summer fare, and Leigh (with whom I found little sympathy) is annoyingly self-absorbed and insecure. Moriarty holds the reader at a distance as none of her characters are fully fleshed out. I stopped and started this book several times, hoping it would improve, and while I managed to finish, it's not one I'd recommend.