At the core, the story is about blame and how the narrative one tells oneself can shape a life….and how with new information people can change. The settings of Maine and NYC play well off each other in a manner similar to how the Burgess brothers do.
Ms. Strout has the keen powers of observation of Jane Austen with a slightly quirky tilt toward Anne Tyler. In other words, excellent characters. The conflict in the small Maine town would make an interesting discussion.
my source: prior reading experience … and I heard/saw Elizabeth at the Festival of Faith and Writing. I was pretty close to the front row.
my verdict: worth a read