This family saga is both entertaining and thought provoking.
In part, it is the story of megan Cartwright, who is age 21 at the start of the story. She's the eldest of nine children and has the responsibility for running the household, which she has done for years. Finally, she decides to have a life of her own. She wants to move to England. Her father, Edward, has always wanted to travel and gives her his blessing and financial support.
Tom is Meg's brother. He's a college student at the start of the story. He witnesses something concerning one of his friends and this results in his desire for isolation. He keeps to himself at home and tries to find work where he won't have to speak to anyone.
Edward Cartwright is the father. His own parents had a farm and his high school teacher told his mother that Edward had potential if he remained in school. His two brothers became farmers, Edward continued his education and became a banker.
We follow the actions of these three characters from 1966 to 1969. The dilemmas that arise are: Will Meg find happiness and use her talents in Europe? Will Tom put his education to use and begin earning a decent income? Will Edward ever get to Rome? Finally, we wonder if someone would be found who can manage the family of seven surviving boys.
I enjoyed the story and manner in which Mary Lawson gets the reader to think for themselves about what might happen in certain situations. She describes life as it is and tells us about the difficulties in this dysfunctional family. I was disappointed that no one tried to help Meg's mother and wondered why Edward never asked his married sister in Toronto for help.
I can't write more or it would reveal the plot but would say that the book was enjoyable but sad.