Rachel’s life is anything but calm. She’s a single mother of two and publisher of a sinking parenting magazine left to her by her father. Although she tries to be easygoing, she’s all too aware of the statistical dangers lurking around every corner: Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children between the ages of one and 21. So it is out of character (to say the least) when she pulls over on the side of a busy highway to help a man and his quirky daughter change a tire.
The daughter, Olivia, has an NLD (non-verbal learning disorder) and is known to Rachel’s children as the most made-fun-of student at school. Her nickname is the “inside out girl” since she often shows up to class with her clothes on wrong. It is to the great dismay of Rachel’s children that their mother begins dating the inside out girl’s widowed father, Len. When Rachel finds herself falling in love with him, she realizes she has to reassess her notions of the ideal family. But it’s not until Len learns of a sudden illness that will alter his future that Rachel begins to change as well. She finds herself revisiting a mystery from her past and learning to love and respect every aspect of her children’s lives—including her daughter’s crush on the girl next door.
As she did in her hit debut novel, Town House, Tish Cohen perfectly captures the idiosyncrasies and charms that make up our lives, bringing us flawed characters that are nevertheless memorable, lovable and endearing.