This is the kind of story I would hope for by Anita Shreve. She has carefully crafted a set of characters (former high school best friends) that reunite for a wedding some 27 years after high school. Most of them do not see each other anymore so this is a true reunion. They also share a painful memory of Stephen, the golden boy of their group who died a month before graduation.
Paralleled in between is a short story that one of the group (Agnes) is writing. The story is set at the time of the Halifax Explosion. At first I was put off by the interruption of the main story, but then I really got into it and wanted to know what happened to these secondary characters.
Shreve does a great job of twisting the lines and lives of each and every one of her characters. I walked away feeling satisfied.