Updated: Sep 16
A small-town family drama stretching from the 1950s through the 1980s, with all kinds of secrets. Wonderful description of Iowa country living and the racial realities of that time and place. An example: "The early evening arrived sullen and moist, ushering in the period of the day when time slows down, and the earth relaxes." Not only does the protagonist grow through the course of the novel, so do most of the supporting characters, creating thick layers of story that make it an engaging read.
While this is strong women's fiction throughout, focusing on the development of the female protagonist, the last few paragraphs offer a deux ex machina happily-ever-after ending. That could have been handled much better, but the book is still a good read.
Note: I read a pre-publication copy in which there were minor flaws, which I relayed to the publisher. Hopefully they were corrected.