This was a wonderful read. The backdrop of an ambassador's/expat's life is grand and so appealing. And yet it is a story of small but vital changes that a woman makes, often in midlife, when beset with circumstances outside her control. I literally wept at the end--authentic, touching, beautiful in a small, controlled way. I just loved Clare. Not a perfect person but so winning. I just hate the expectation that fictional women somehow have to be petulant or tiger mothers to be appealing characters. I've had that expectation made of my characters, as a writer. Clare is flawed and worthy of admiration at the same time. A compelling, carefully drawn character and someone you really want to spend time with. Kudos to the author. Looking forward to more of her work.