my take: I loved this book. I've been experiencing a lot of loss lately, so the story of an elderly lady living alone might not have been the best choice given my somewhat down mood, but Emily was just what I needed...
Emily's alone in the house where she lived with her husband & children ... now a widow with 2 issue-ridden grown children and a handful of grandchildren. I was taken with how Emily is able to navigate past, present, and future with grace, humility, humor, and reasonable reactions to her own regrets.
The mood is not too depressing - Emily's pluck and opinions make her a survivor and her story charming.
I was very surprised this excellent story told from Emily's perspective is written by a man, and I am definitely interested in reading other works by Stewart O'nan. (Daughter Anne tells me this is a sequel to Wish You Were Here which will go on my to-read list.)
my source: daughter Anne
my verdict: very good. read this!