Honestly, We Meant Well

Two UC Berkeley professors and their graduating son face crises and new awakenings on their Grecian vacation in Grant Ginder's sensitive, lighthearted fourth novel.

When classics professor Sue Ellen Wright gets the chance to spend a month on the paradisiacal Greek island where she once studied as a doctoral student, her husband, Dean, and their 23-year-old son, Will, join her. Dean, a famous novelist, thinks leaving the country will help him break off an affair with a college student. Will feels pressured to live up to Dean but inherited none of his father's talent. He also just lost a job opportunity, got dumped by his boyfriend and plagiarized one of Dean's unpublished stories for his senior thesis. Unaware of the male Wrights' deceptions, Sue Ellen checks the family into the Alectrona--a rundown hotel formerly owned by her lost love Christos and now run by his daughter Eleni, who is considering selling it to Swiss developers. When the Wrights' secrets come to light, they must decide whether they have a future as a family.

Ginder (The People We Hate at the Wedding) adds just the right amount of sparkling waters and ancient ruins to give this family drama a sunny lightness despite dark themes of infidelity and thwarted plans. Will and Sue Ellen's journeys to find versions of themselves not defined by their relationships with Dean feel authentic, the resolutions well-earned. Sometimes humorous and always witty, Honestly, We Meant Well will inspire readers to ponder their own roads less traveled. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

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