This was a quick read for which I am grateful. Two stories run in parallel until they finally meet at the very end.
Rachel, the child of an alcoholic mother and an absentee father find herself in an abusive marriage. The day her husband turns his temper on their daughter, she finally finds the strength to leave. With the love and help of two friends who have stuck with her through her marriage, she and her daughter escape her abuser and head out to start a new life. But, she needs to make one last stop before they go.
Mitch’s story plays out in a single day – Christmas Eve. He wakes to discover he is an old man, in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by strangers. Alzheimer’s has wreaked its havoc on his memory, but he understands it is Christmas Eve, and he knows he is waiting for someone. He’s just not sure who.
The final scenes play out as Rachel encounters her father for the first time in over a decade. While he does not recognize Rachel as an adult, he mistakes his granddaughter for her mother. This is the child he has been waiting for. The one he knows he let down in a thousand ways, and the one he has waited many years from whom to ask forgiveness.
It is all very sad and sweet. Not my usual cup of tea, but a fairly well written little story. If you like heavily emotional, bittersweet ending stories, this one’s for you.