If it's possible for a novel to be both incredibly lovely and terribly sad at the same time, this debut by Sarah Butler is definitely that. The story of Alice, a young woman who returns home from being lost in Mongolia just in time to watch her father die from a quick illness and Daniel, a man living out his life on the street, in search of the daughter he's never had the chance to meet, this book has tears and tissues written all over it.
The characters were strong and beautifully deep, yet relatable and readable. I loved feeling Alice's raw emotions when seeing her father ill, as so many people in the world experience in their lives. Her relationships with her older sisters was also both realistic and honest, as we are able to witness her both love them and want to be anywhere except home.
Daniel was the character that I truly loved. His heart was all over the pages and his desire for finding his daughter so very pure. I didn't find myself feeling sorry for him, as I might with other characters in his situation, but rather I just wanted to give him a hug and the answers he was looking for.
I was impressed upon learning this was Butler's first novel -- she'll definitely have a big career ahead of her! I definitely recommend checking this book out and adding it to your beach bag. Just make sure you have a few tissues stuffed in there too.
Thanks to Penguin for the review copy!