Wednesday, December 24, 2014

THE POSSIBILITIES by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Everyone grieves differently, and Sarah St. John is still reeling from the death of her 22-year-old son Cully in an avalanche.  Sarah, a single mother, raised her son in her home town, which happens to be the ski resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado.  She tries to resume her job as a newscaster for segments targeting tourists in hotel rooms, but she clearly isn’t ready to face the public in quite so public a manner.  Sarah never considered marrying Cully’s father Billy, whom she viewed as nothing more than a fling, but he and her widowed father Lyle are providing all the emotional support they can, given their own grief.  Plus, Sarah’s best friend Suzanne is emotionally distraught over her husband’s having walked out on their marriage, so that Suzanne is too preoccupied with her own troubles to be much help to Sarah.  Everyone is leaning on everyone else, and then an enigmatic young woman named Kit drifts into their lives with some pretty shocking news.  The world is full of surprises for Sarah, who discovers little by little that Cully had a tighter bond with his father and grandfather than Sarah had thought, not to mention some secret extracurricular activities.  While the rest of the town is tiptoeing around Sarah, Lyle and Billy are honest but compassionate and aren’t afraid to use a little levity now and then to lighten everyone’s mood.  Sarah responds not so much with sadness as with anger, and the result is dialog that I couldn’t get enough of.  (Don’t miss Lyle’s hilarious comments about Sarah’s cross-eyed ex-boyfriend.)  This may be Sarah’s story, but the other characters, especially Billy and Lyle, were more appealing to me, with their wit and ability to roll with the punches.  Kit and Sarah are both at a crossroads, in which Kit provokes Sarah into drawing on her own experience in order to redirect her own life and consequently help Kit to do the same.

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