Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman
This is another small book that packs a punch. Set on Martha Vineyard, Illumination Night tells the story of the residents of two neighboring houses. Elizabeth, a widow who is slowly going blind, lived alone with her two cats until her rebellious teenage granddaughter Jody was forced to come take care of her. Next door live Vonny and Andre, a young couple who are struggling to make ends meet while trying to weather their differing expectations of marriage and the unknown illness plaguing their only child, four-year-old Simon. Each character in this beautifully-written novel is at a crossroads in his or her life. Hoffman expertly conveys the inner turmoil her characters are experiencing, creating a myriad of very real characters.
Illumination Night is about aging and marriage, mental illness and infidelity. It's a coming of age story and a celebration of life. Most of all, it's a meditation on "the magic and pain of ordinary life" (words from a The Times, London reviewer that I just could not get out of my head).