Heaven Adjacent – Catherine Ryan Hyde
I was fortunate to receive this novel as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.
Roseanna is the central character in this novel and she begins the story three months after she makes a profound change in her life, presumably brought on by the stress of a high level legal job and he death of her colleague and friend Alice. Instead of heading to work one day, she calls in sick for a ‘mental health day’, gets in her car and sets out on a one-way trip – not knowing where she’s going, but knowing that she doesn’t want to come back.
Where she winds up is a small town in New York State, where she chances across a run-down small cottage on a beautiful piece of property, which is listed for sale. Enchanted by the quaintness and solitude of it all, she makes an impulse purchase of the property, and settles in. No phone, no cell signal, no disruptions – perfect. Until she discovers a pair of squatters on her property…
Then, a reporter appears from the New York Times, wanting to chronicle Roseanna’s decision to walk away from a high powered legal career, inadvertently leading her estranged son, and litigious colleagues to her door.
Other colorful characters also appear, both human and otherwise, adding chaos to Rosie’s otherwise quiet life. The discovery of massive amounts of salvaged metal junk leads Roseanna to a new hobby – sculpting, the results of which generate ire with the local townspeople.
This is a sweet story of loss, isolation, introspection, and the real meaning of family, and what we really need, as strangers learn to live together and love, and old strained relationships are mended.
This was a nice, quick read, and I enjoyed it, despite it not being my usual genre of books. While I realize the theme of the story was centered on Roseanna’s flight, and re-discovery of herself, I would have enjoyed a bit more character development on the squatters – how they came to be where they were, etc. The addition of squatters ‘Buzzy’ and ‘Earnest’ really made the book for me!
Available for purchase on 6/19/2018