By Carol Shields.
Adapted by Deborah Levy.
"I am supposed to be that sunny woman, Reta Winters, but something happened when my back was turned".
Carol Shields' final and searing novel, winner of the Orange Prize and short-listed for the Booker and now adapted for radio by novelist and playwright Deborah Levy.When nineteen-year-old Norah drops out to sit on a Toronto sidewalk, her mother learns that happiness is not what she thought.
What happens when a loving and beloved daughter drops out of university and sits on a sidewalk with a sign around her neck saying 'Goodness'.
Reta tries to discover why her daughter is begging on the sidewalk.
Norah's motives are still not clear.
Reta tries to unpick the past and live in the present.
How do you go on when your nineteen year old daughter, whose smile cut through her like a crescent, drops out of university to sit on a sidewalk with a begging bowl? For Reta Winters, a successful writer and translator, a happily married wife and mother, life becomes an exercise in survival.
Reta seeks ways to distract herself from Norah's abiding absence.
Reta's only diversion from heartache is suddenly threatened.
Reta's editor arrives from NEW YORK with his own opinion on her novel; and Tom calls from Toronto.
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With restoration come some, if not all, the answers.