Songs Without Words is the story of friendship and family and how these are both affected by tragedy. Liz and Sarabeth are best friends who live across the street from each other until, when Sarabeth is a teenager, her mother commits suicide and Sarabeth moves in with Liz and her perfect family.
Fast forward to Liz and Sarabeth as adults. Liz is a happily married, very devoted wife and mother to her teenage daughter and son. Sarabeth, very arsty, is recovering from an affair she had with a married man. Tragedy strikes Liz’s family and the roles that Liz and Sarabeth have always played in each other’s lives are switched, stretching and almost destroying their friendship.
While Liz is dealing with this tragedy and the absence of her best friend, her family and marriage are falling apart. Sarabeth struggles with finally becoming the adult she needs to be while Liz pulls her family back together.
This book was difficult to read. The characters seem so likeable and so perfect, and then this tragedy happens and everyone falls apart. I spent the very beginning of the book thinking these characters were great and worrying that something horrible was going to happen. Then something horrible happened and I spent the remainder of the book anguishing over every relationship the story told: friendship between Sarabeth and Liz, Liz’s marriage, the mother/child relationships. The ending was happy, but not happy enough and not long enough. While I did enjoy this book, and feel like the characters will stay with me, it was almost painful to read.
Rated: High for language and sexual references. The language was mostly teenagers swearing with the worst of the words, but some was the adults reacting to the situation. A lot of the F word. The sexual references were fairly descriptive of sexual acts and body parts.