|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 20|
|LC Class||PS3570.Y45 S25 1991|
Tyler's plot explores the ways ordinary people react to disastrous events with quietly heroic behavior. When seventeen-year-old Ian Bedloe confronts his older brother Danny with his belief that the latter's wife, Lucy, is having an affair, Danny commits suicide. Shortly after, Lucy dies of an overdose of sleeping pills, and responsibility for the care of the deceased couple's three children (two from their mother's previous marriage) falls to their grandparents. A profoundly guilty Ian receives spiritual guidance from Reverend Emmett of the storefront Church of the Second Chance, and he decides to drop out of college to become a carpenter and help his ailing parents with the children, until he eventually becomes their primary caretaker, sacrificing his own life to fulfill what he perceives to be a lifelong moral obligation.
In 1998, the novel was adapted for a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation starring Thomas McCarthy, Mary-Louise Parker, Blythe Danner, Edward Herrmann, Melina Kanakaredes, Glynnis O'Connor, Bethel Leslie, and Denis O'Hare.
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