A Simple Thing: A Novel

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9780062106230: A Simple Thing: A Novel

How far would you go to protect your children? Would you do it at the expense of your marriage? How far would you go to protect yourself?
     For Susannah Delaney, the answers lie thousands of miles away, off the northwest corner of Washington state. When Susannah discovers her young son is being bullied and her adolescent daughter is spinning out of control, she moves them to remote Sounder Island in the San Juans to live off the grid for a year. Susannah hopes to save her children from the risks they've encountered at home, and to come to terms with her own haunted past. But the move threatens her marriage to the man she's loved since childhood, and her very sense of self.
     For Betty Pavalak, who first moved to Sounder to save her own troubled marriage, the island has been a haven for more than fifty years. But Betty also knows the guilt of living with choices she made long ago and actions that cannot be undone.The unlikely friendship between Susannah and Betty ignites a journey of self-discovery for both women that brings them both home to what they love most. A SIMPLE THING moves beyond friendship, children, and marriages to look deeply into what it means to love and forgive--yourself.

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From the Back Cover:

When Susannah Delaney discovers her young son is being bullied and her adolescent daughter is spinning out of control, she moves them to remote, rustic Sounder Island to live for a year. A simple island existence—with no computers or electricity and only a one-room schoolhouse—is just what her over scheduled East Coast kids need to learn what's really important in life. But the move threatens her marriage to the man she's loved since childhood, and her very sense of self.

For Betty Pavalak, who moved to Sounder to save her own troubled marriage, the island has been a haven for fifty years. But Betty also knows the guilt of living with choices made long ago and actions that cannot be undone. The unlikely friendship between Susannah and Betty ignites a journey of self-discovery for both women and brings them both home to what they love most. A Simple Thing moves beyond friendship, children, and marriages to look deeply into what it means to love and forgive—yourself.

About the Author:

Kathleen McCleary is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Ladies' Home Journal, More, and Good Housekeeping. Her second novel, A Simple Thing (2012), was recently nominated for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards. She has taught writing as an adjunct professor at American University and now teaches with Writopia Labs. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

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