I read the large print version of this book in one day - 500 pages of it. There are very few books that I find so compelling that I can't put them down somewhere along the way. This was one of those precious few.
Jack begins this story in critical condition. He is in a hospital bed a few days before Christmas waiting to die. He has three children ranging from a daughter, Mikki, who is 15, Cory who is 9 or 10, and Jackie, a toddler. Liz, his wife, cares for him patiently.
Liz sees that Jack is out of medication and goes out in bad weather to get his prescriptions. She loses her life in an accident. Jack's children are farmed out to various relatives and Jack goes into hospice care waiting to die. But he doesn't.
Through nothing less than a miracle, Jack recovers. He collects his children and takes them to South Carolina to the old family homestead for the summer to honor the plan Liz had when she thought she would be the surviving spouse. It's a long road back for Jack to recover from the grief and to become the kind of father he needs to be for his children. Mikki is especially trying, being a teenager and angry about her mother's death. There is also a complication involving Jack's mother-in-law that brings the family into court.
This is a three-tissue story with a soul-satisfying end.