I have been a book lover/book junkie for decades. Still it is a first for me to finish the last word on the last page and then immediately go back to the first page and re-read the whole book again. The author’s flawless writing gives an explanation on why McDermont has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize. This is a story about nothing and everything; a human life. Others might find our personal story rather mundane yet when reviewing your own life, as the protagonist does, it is always complex. The story takes place in-between WWI and WWII. We meet the heroine when she is seven years old sitting on a Brooklyn stoop waiting for her dad to come home. Though the story is not linear, it ends when she is an old woman dying in an assisted living facility. The expression that “the characters are written so real that they jump off the page” does not give due service to McDermont’s skills. Throughout the novel the writing is always tender, subtle, and never melodramatic while camouflaging the unexpected upcoming punch.