WITH YOU AND WITHOUT YOU

Author(s): 
In Wolf's debut novel, Patrick Houlihan's family must adjust when the successful businessman dies in a car accident. He leaves behind his wife, Allyson, and daughters Becca, 11, and Lydia, 14. Less than a year after Patrick's death, Lydia's grades are dropping, her interest in dance is waning and she's turning away from her close relationship with her mother to confide in her new boyfriend, Eric.

Allyson adjusts to raising the children alone, despite the interference of her mother-in-law. And Allyson's friendship with Patrick's best friend, Michael, takes on romantic overtones. But further unforeseeable events force the family to unite to support one another.

Beautifully written, Wolf's debut is mesmerizing, reflecting on the tremendous impact of a single tragic event. The author reveals the constant evolution of relationships, between mother and daughter and friends and lovers. (Jul., 368 pp., $14.00)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick