At the beginning of Richard Yates's 1976 novel—one that many consider his finest, next to his National Book Award finalist Revolutionary Road—the reader meets the Grimes sisters in 1930, when Sarah is nine and Emily is five. We are told, "Neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life, and looking back it always seemed that the trouble began with their parents' divorce." Over the next four decades, Sarah and Emily develop into entirely different women: Sarah settles into an unfulfilling suburban marriage and motherhood, while Emily remains resolutely independent, struggling with one unsatisfactory love affair after another. Yet from their very different paths, both finally reach for some kind of renewal.
"Yates writes powerfully and enters completely and effortlessly into the lives of his characters.... A spare yet wrenching tale."—NYTBR