Rebecca Winter, Quindlen's protagonist, is a 60-year-old photographer who snapped her most famous photograph, the eponymous Still Life with Bread Crumbs, in the aftermath of yet another command performance dinner party, after which her unbearably supercilious husband, a British academic, retreated to bed, leaving her to clean up the mess. She became a feminist darling with her mainly domestic-themed photography, but two-plus decades later, her star is no longer so bright. She notes, "the coin of notoriety pays with less and less interest as time goes by."
Meanwhile, Rebecca's expenses have skyrocketed. Like so many of her generation, she's been caught off-guard with the burden of caring for her aged parents, helping with the rent on her father's downsized apartment and her mother's nursing home fees, plus an occasional assist to her filmmaker son.
What to do? Rebecca decides to cut costs by subletting the beloved Upper West Side Manhattan apartment she moved into after her contemptible husband left her for the next in his chain of ever-younger wives, and rent a cottage upstate in the woods, sight unseen. Of course it's a ramshackle mess, and she's unprepared for rural life. She calls in a roofer to help with a raccoon in her attic, and — no surprise here — he ends up patching up more than her flashing.
I read this book on the way down to JAX March 2014. Very entertaining....almost a Romance genre book. But easy to read and I was never tempted to turn the book off and listen to the music which happens when I get bored with a book. I would not put the book in my top ten list, but would recommend it to someone looking for a light read that entertains.