About the Book:
A gorgeous jewel of a novel about a mother caring for her two sons while everything else–her marriage and the fishing industry her New England community relies on–threatens to crumble around her.
After a fishing accident leaves her husband hospitalized across the border in Canada, Jill is left to look after her teenage boys–“the wolves”–alone. Nothing comes easy in their remote corner of Maine: money is tight; her son Sam is getting into more trouble by the day; her eldest, Charlie, is preoccupied with a new girlfriend; and Jill begins to suspect her marriage isn’t as stable as she once believed. As one disaster gives way to the next, she begins to think that it’s not enough to be a caring wife and mother anymore–not enough to show up when needed, to nudge her boys in the right direction, to believe everything will be okay. But how to protect this life she loves, this household, this family?
With remarkable poise and startling beauty, Landslide ushers us into a modern household where, for a family at odds, Instagram posts, sex-positivity talks, and old fishing tales mingle to become a kind of love language. It is a beautiful portrait of a family, as compelling as it is moving, and raises the question of how to remain devoted when the eye of the storm closes in.
What a remarkable story! Written in very spare prose, Landslide tells the story of Jillian Archer, her marriage to Kit, and her relationship with her two teenage sons, Charlie and Sam. Raising teenagers is treacherous enough but Jill has the added pressure of Kit’s recent serious accident. He is a commercial fisherman and has been hospitalized in Canada, hours away from the family’s home in Maine.
Jill refers to her sons as “the wolves” and she is torn between being at her husband’s bedside and staying home with her son, who are both challenging her in different ways. I was immediately drawn into this family’s story and loved the setting of a tiny Maine fishing village. The author does a wonderful job of exploring how the commercial fishing industry has suffered and the toll it takes on the fisherman and their families. But fishing is in Kit’s blood and is the only thing he has ever known.
If you like books that explore marriage and long-term relationships, you will love this book. Jill begins to think her husband is not the man she thought she married and begins to question whether this life is for her. Her marriage and her relationship with her sons all seem to be unraveling at once. I loved the conclusion of this book and the way the author reveals that everything is not always black and white. Parenting and marriage and tough and happy endings are not always guaranteed.
I felt Jill’s interactions with her sons were all incredibly realistic, as painful and funny as they are in real life. I couldn’t wait to see what they would do next! The title of the book is very fitting as it parallels the Stevie Nicks song, and what happens when your life comes crashing down around you. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more of Susan Conley’s books.
(Thank you to the publisher for an advanced reading copy, provided in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.)