After the enormous success of her earlier book Sarah’s Key, and the subsequent movie hit, I must say I was a little disappointed with her second novel. Although the story is interesting enough and definitely kept my attention, the secret was not kept well enough because I had it figured out very early on, and I did not find it as shocking as the author seems to think.
Set in France, a brother surprises his sister with a nostalgia visit to an island they used to vacation on as children. Revisiting this setting unleashes a troublesome memory which distracts the sister enough while driving to cause a serious car accident. The tragedy sets off a series of events which become revealing in a number of different ways. The story focuses on love, family, and the power memory holds on our lives. It explores various relationships and how we view our past and people like our parents.
The setting of the story is unique and makes me want to go there. Le Gois is a causeway leading to the island of Noirmoutier. The passage has limited access because it becomes covered by the tides, rendering it a dangerous crossing and regularly impossible. It becomes a powerful symbol in the book.