April and Isabelle are both from Cape Cod and are both women on the run from their respective marriages when their cars collide on a faraway, fog shrouded road. Of the two women only Isabelle walks away while April leaves behind a husband and an eight year old son sick with asthma to grieve her sudden inexplicable death. Isabelle, already devastated by the sudden revelation of her husband's long term infidelity, is shattered by the car accident and the weight she carries over April's death. Charlie and Sam, April's husband and son, struggle amid their grief with the unexplained questions April left in her wake. Why was she on that road to begin with? Why was there a suitcase in her car? And where was she headed?
As Isabelle grieves and struggles to move on with her life she forms a bond with Sam after a chance encounter. Soon Sam is seeking her out despite his father's admonishments to stay away from her. Then Charlie realizes that Sam's doing better after his visits with Isabelle, and Charlie decides to put his son's needs first and allow him to spend time with Isabelle.
Both Isabelle and April are the product of dysfunctional parents and childhood traumas. While Isabelle seems to have grown into a relatively well adjusted adult, April, as her story is told, is revealed to be unstable, dysfunctional and insecure in ways even her husband and son were unaware.
Back to the ending. I have mixed feelings about it--it's not your typical happy ending for either character. It's not that I need everything tied up in a neat little bow with sparkles on top, but I also don't want it ending with the characters settling and forever being passing ships in the ocean. It's heart-wrenching and frustrating that ultimately Sam finds out that he was lied to by both his mother and his father about different things at different times for different reasons. Now I'm done obsessing over the ending. And I really don't know if I should end this with my customary recommendation. Maybe you should read it yourself so you can decide. Let me know whether you would recommend this novel in the comments.
--Reviewed by Ms. Angie