Why am I surprised that a man can write a book like this? Perhaps because all the books I've read so far about women facing death and setting their house in order have been written by women. Bradley Salter does a good job of showing how Lillian, a strong woman who has loved but one man all her life, faces losing him and all she holds dear.
I think we tend to forget that although each of us may face the grief of losing a person we love, the fact is we lose just the one. The person leaving loses everyone and how Mr Salter handles the portrait of Lillian and the aftermath of her death is the subject of the novel.
At first, Jeremy faces Lillian's passing fairly well. He is grief-stricken, but like many people, the initial coping is not perhaps as hard until later. As the loneliness settles in and Jeremy faces anniversaries of birthdays and marriage, his situation deteriorates. It is a measure of Salter's skill that I wanted to slap the daughter senseless and on occasions, shake Jeremy until his teeth rattled.
I do not give spoilers, but suffice to say, "Keep a tissue box handy, Bradley Salter will drag every speck of emotion out of you."