This is a wonderful entrancing story that is set on the east coast. I just love east coast stories.
Rose Morash is a woman who guards her privacy and her secrets. From an early age to old age, keeping certain things hidden was essential to her survival. It is only after Rose’s death that her daughter Barbara uncovers some startling truths–truths that rewrite the past and transform her own future.
In Depression-era Halifax, 11-year old Rose Morash and her sisters Lily and Violet are orphaned when tuberculosis claims both parents.
Separated from their older sister Violet, and with no one else to turn to, Rose and Lily are packet off to the Protestant orphanage. The home is full of strict rules, tedium, emotional neglect, and strangers. Only another orphan, Ora, proves worthy of Rose’s friendship.
At eighteen, Rose now a determined, focused young woman, quickly rids herself of the maid’s apron and sweatshop seamstress job, and moves up in the hierarchy of an elegant downtown department store. Amidst the chaos of WWII come new relationships and new losses. Rose concludes that people aren’t forever. They come and go from our lives. These words, this motto, shape the choices she makes and the course her life takes.
Years later, daughter Barbara tries to find renewed connection with her remote and bitter mother. Her efforts are in vain. It is only in the sorting of belongings, the packing of boxes, that Barbara finds the long-hidden truths of the woman whom she never fully knows.
I loved this book from start to finish.