Alexandr and Christine and Zachary and Lydia have been friends since they first met in their twenties. Thirty years later, Alex and Christine are spending a leisurely summer’s evening at home when they receive a call from a distraught Lydia: she is at the hospital. Zach is dead.
In the wake of this profound loss, the three friends find themselves unmoored; all agree that Zach, with his generous, grounded spirit, was the irreplaceable one they couldn’t afford to lose.
Inconsolable, Lydia moves in with Alex and Christine. But instead of loss bringing them closer, the three of them find over the following months that it warps their relationships, as old entanglements and grievances rise from the past, and love and sorrow give way to anger and bitterness.
My Thoughts: Unconventional pairings and dysfunctional families fill the pages of Late in the Day. I felt empathy for Christine throughout, as her so-called best friend Lydia spends her days and nights selfishly pursuing her own needs and disregarding the needs of others.
I felt some sympathy for her when her husband Zach died, but soon she became even more unlikable, setting herself down in the midst of Alex and Christine’s home, sleeping away the days and dropping her clothes and belongings everywhere.
The back and forth movement of the story between the past and the present did nothing to help me connect to these characters, and I could find little to keep me reading.
Additionally, the author’s writing style, with no quotation marks, made following the dialogue challenging. I was quite relieved to turn the last page. 2.5 stars. **