Lila and Robert married and had three daughters together. After they divorced, each of them remarried and had an additional child each with their second spouse – Sasha and Ray – who were born around the same time. Now both seventeen, Sasha and Ray share the same half-sisters and even the same room at the beach house on Long Island.
However, the antagonism between their once-joined mother and father keeps them forever separated. As a result, they have never crossed paths. But ironically, their shared blood ties link them together nonetheless in an intimate way that borders on incest. Meanwhile, the artificial (and legally-driven) isolation of the two families – sharing space but never at the same time – obscures scars and wounds that only a tragedy can break open.
Ostensibly not a YA novel, this book gets picked up as such because of Brashares’s Traveling Pants series. The most YA-ish part is the somewhat touching (but more than a little creepy love story) between Sasha and Ray. But the novel is really about family and how blood lines and even living arrangements don’t define it. It’s a moody and lyric work (and a bit hard to track at first, thanks to all of its characters), but a decent heartfelt story about divorce and its aftermath. It's not a children's book.