A few years ago a book club I was in selected The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano for out selection. We all enjoyed it so much that we attempted to go to his reading, but someone didn't take my advice that we should leave far earlier than we did seriously, and we ended up at a bar instead of a reading. But anyway, I digress. Giordano's first impression was a good one.
His newest release, Like Family, is a novella based on factual events, detailing the impact a nanny/housekeeper named Mrs. A had on a young family. The narrator is an academic, a physicist, and his wife, Nora, is an interior decorator. The two find themselves on the verge of parenthood, needing someone to help steer their domestic ship while Nora struggles with a difficult pregnancy and then as they adjust to parenthood.
The family becomes quite dependent on Mrs. A as their young son gets older, especially as they obviously struggle to adapt to having an "average" child. Unfortunately, their elderly caregiver becomes incredibly ill with cancer and they are left to their own devices. The impending loss brings to the surface a myriad of emotions that cause the couple to look inward and towards the future.
Gioradano's writing is smooth, simple, and beautiful. He is a man of few words, but the ones he does offer us are deliberate and meaningful. Like Family resonates in the days to come and the smallest things, especially if you have a child, a significant other, or an elderly caregiver in your midst, will remind you of the story.