Ann Packer’s beautifully-written novel tells the story of a doctor, his wife and their four children. Set in Northern California, it describes a time and place of tranquility, long before the area became Silicon Valley. Dr. Blair, the pediatrician father, is a role model and the chief caretaker of his children. His wife, Penny, is a bohemian artist, bored with domesticity and indifferent to the interior lives of her children. What develops is a complex portrait of a family where adult identify is formed in childhood and birth order does matter.
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