Leah Hager Cohen's The Grief of Others really fizzles out. It starts with an emotional bang, keeps up the tension for a while, but then just drifts off into... nothing much.
The novel tells the story of a family (two parents, two children) dealing with the death of an infant, and the simultaneous arrival of the father's older child from an earlier relationship. The disruption caused by these two events causes some family stress that is interesting for a while, but really, these people are pretty healthy, and they all love each other. In the end they work it out and everyone is fine.
I kept waiting for something to blow up (literally or figuratively) but alas, no.
While it's nice to read about a functional family for a change, the drama that comes from crazy makes for better reading. This must be why we all watch reality TV about drug addicts and hoarders.
Becky Holmes blogs about books at A Book A Week.