As a reader I find myself living hundreds of lives, in as many places. Some if not most are truly fantastical. It is people I cannot identify with. Places I have never seen. And that is fantastic.
Along comes Abbie. A bit rough around the edges. But a person who believes in action not so much words.
A person who shows she cares by getting involved instead of judging by the side line. And so she should. Who is she to judge. Her son is the result of a teen pregnancy. She abused alcohol and narcotics. She raised her son admirably as an only parent and her son more than anybody else shows Abbie's true nature. Here is a woman I can identify with. Somebody that had to decide to do the right thing. Somebody who is not even close to being perfect.
Then on her mothers funeral she meets a man. She is interested and the reader gets a glimpse of a budding romance. She reconnects with family but this is closer to the Adams family than to the Cosby family. Or ok, maybe the reverse. It is hard to tell these days.
And after an eventful day Abbie returns home. To a trailer park. To a woman who is more like a mother to her than her own mother. V is a paragon of virtue. Not a saint but close to it. Her son Kevin is a mature man but due to a childhood accident he is mentally about 14. Sometimes younger. Always entertaining. Abbie returns to a group of strangers that has become family by choice. Not perfect people. But real people.
Abbie returns home from home. One hostile, the other paradise because in Beyond the Pale the reader reads about real people who lives real lives and who is a family because they want to be involved in each others lives. You read about a community. You read about the purest form of love. Love for they neighbour for this is the type of love that you always need to work on. Blood does not keep you together. Neither choice as in romantic love. Here love is a choice. It is real