After a marriage spanning nearly fifty years, Charles and Sarah have settled into a comfortable routine. They have left their petty squabbles and difficult times behind them and are ready to enjoy what is left to them. Since they were both healthy, though, Sarah did not envision her life without Charles, and is cast adrift into sudden widowhood after an accident. Without purpose or companion, Sarah is not sure what to do with herself. Eventually, however, she finds her house filling with both familiar and new faces, casting her life into a different mold than she expected, but perhaps one she can live with after all.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Every Last Cuckoo. I don’t read much women’s fiction and I didn’t choose this one for myself, it was a book group choice. Perhaps because I wasn’t expecting to, I really enjoyed the book and I read it in just a few hours. I found it easy to relate to Sarah, despite the vast difference in our ages and life experiences, and I loved the relationships that formed between her and her new houseguests. This is a novel that is much more about one woman’s growth and discovery of peace than about any external conflict or tension. It is Sarah that must define her future without the man who has been beside her for most of her life.
I also enjoyed Sarah’s reflections on her life with Charles. They are poignant, touching, and illustrate beautifully the strength of a marriage that can weather so many ups and downs. Even her relationships with her children are remembered, sometimes with fondness and sometimes with regret. The book pulled together all the strands of Sarah’s life and made it into a whole which she is still continuing to experience and change.
I definitely recommend Every Last Cuckoo. It is a wonderful, moving read, and I think most women will be able to relate to Sarah. For the record, my mom read this book too, and her reaction to it made mine pale in comparison, so much so that I gave it to her. More life experience may just make this one better.