The small town of Amgash in rural Illinois sports a slice of life common to many such communities. Lives riddled with loneliness, inferiorities and secrets star in these vignettes of tragedy and forgiveness which weave together to form a novel. Lucy Barton, now a successful author, escaped her cruel childhood in Amgash an reappears as a connecting thread, showing up in the stories of others. (You might want to read or re-read Strout's previous novel, My Name is Lucy Barton!) Strout's elegant observations of live reflect her masterful ability to zoom in on ordinary people often facing extraordinary odds!