Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life. ... read more
Tessa and Val's story begins with an accident. Valerie Anderson is a strong, determined, stubborn single mom to Charlie, a very sweet, sensitive little boy who's a student at a private school in Boston. She reluctantly allows Charlie to go to a friend's birthday party, even though she finds... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Tessa and Val's story begins with an accident. Valerie Anderson is a strong, determined, stubborn single mom to Charlie, a very sweet, sensitive little boy who's a student at a private school in Boston. She reluctantly allows Charlie to go to a friend's birthday party, even though she finds the parents involved to be rich and snotty. At the party, Charlie is seriously injured in a campfire and rushed to the hospital. Val beats herself up over these choices, not trusting her instincts, massively upset over her hurt little boy. Her twin brother Jason tries to comfort her. But no one is able to reassure her until her son's excellent, attractive pediatric plastic surgeon, Dr. Nick Russo, arrives and tells her that Charlie is a beautiful child and would continue to be. It's just what she needs to hear at a very tough time.
Nick, though, had to rush to the hospital from his seventh wedding anniversary dinner with Tessa, his loving, fun wife who's struggling to redefine her identity after she's given up her job as a professor to be a stay-at-home mom to her two little kids, Ruby and Frank. Tessa's mom advised her not to quit her job because she was afraid that Tessa might lose herself or become resentful of her frequently busy, often absent genius husband. Tessa feels inferior to all of the other private school moms around her, even her friend April, a cold perfectionist, and Romy, a rich woman who's panicked because the campfire accident that burned Charlie happened at her house.
So Tessa and Val are connected by community, by mutual acquaintances and now through Nick, whom they both come to care for and have issues with.
“I think of how each person in a marriage owes it to the other to find individual happiness, even in a shared life. That this is the only real way to grow together, instead of apart.”Tessa Thaler Russo
“I think about the thin, fragile line separating all of us from misfortune, almost as a way of putting a few coins into my own gratitude meter, of safeguarding against after happening to me.”
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