Mara and Jo have been close friends since middle school. Jo, the more outgoing figure, is a social worker who runs through a series of brief but intense relationships. Mara, a less splashy personality than Jo, bounces between teacher aide jobs while trying to land a position in elementary education, writing fiction in her spare time. After meeting Adam, a mild-mannered software developer, Mara seems to settle down in her romantic life, while it soon becomes apparent that Jo, despite her intellectual gifts, is unreliable in her professional life, losing and acquiring jobs at a troubling rate. Is substance abuse to blame, or could there be a deeper problem at the root of Jo’s instability?
Dan Sallitt’s (The Unspeakable Act) subtly poignant depiction of female friendship unfolds over the course of a decade, as Mara sometimes tries to help and sometimes backs away to preserve herself, but never leaves behind her powerful childhood connection.
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