The Gingerbread House
Prism Book Group
From the publisher:
Keren Joel has a phobia and, without realizing it, she's passed it on to her son, forcing her to seek professional help. What she doesn't expect to find is the man who'd been her best friend twenty years earlier, and his shrine to a moment that forever changed the adults they became.
The Gingerbread House is a novella, a quick read, about family, the past and the present, and what we hold dear.
Hopper's characters, the divorced Keren and her little guy Sawyer, and the man from her past who couldn't let go, Jared, are in a real pickle. Keren unwittingly transferred her fears onto Sawyer who now needs professional help to avoid a lifelong existence of stranger fear. I worked in a mental health dept. and encountered such issues.
Keren seeks help from a child psychologist who uses revolutionary methods to work with children, one of which is about to be exploited by Hollywood. When Keren realizes the depth to which her former neighbor and friend, Jared, had never forgotten their past, she jumps between flattery and outrage and a terrible guilt for a past wrong. They each have far to go to using the past in a way that helps them move forward with their lives in a healthy way, while also helping Sawyer.
In a novella there isn't the space or necessity to provide lengthy treatment details. While Sawyer seemed to quickly resolve his issues, the point is that two adults in his life worked together to make that happen. Nice story, enjoyable!