For Better or Worse is a boxed set of three novels by Linda Barrett suitable for book club discussion.
Book 1) THE SOLDIER AND THE ROSE----from the greatest generation, a love story to remember...
Two soldiers go off to war in Europe. Both from the same neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. Only one returns home. Rose Kaufman's grief is soul deep. Her husband, Joe, had been her one true love, so right for her that a lifetime together wouldn't be enough. When Charlie Shapiro show up with stories of Joe, eager to rebuild his war-shattered life with Rose and her baby daughter...she warns that a marriage of convenience would be unfair--to him. She cannot promise her heart to this kind and gentle man.
Through the years, Charlie wonders if love can grow or if he'll always be second best.
Who is Rose's true love? The man she married with all her heart, or the man who married her with all of his? It's a question only Rose can answer.
Book 2) THE BROKEN CIRCLE
After her parents are in a fatal car accident, Lisa Delaney drops out of law school to care for her four younger siblings. The children vote to stay together rather than be split up among relatives. Lisa's aunts say her parents would want her to remain in school.
Lisa's fiance, Mike Brennan, wants to keep the siblings together. He's in his rookie year with the NFL and suggests he and Lisa get married immediately to give the kids a home. In her grief, and after a fruitless search for a legal directive her parents might have left, she finally agrees with Mike. They marry.
Moving from a rural town to a big city, they leave close friends behind. Mike is the second backup QB for the Boston Riders and is focused on his dream career. He says his potential earnings would solve all problems. Lisa says, "The kids are not charity cases!" and works full-time to supplement their income.
But life's daily responsibilities soon overwhelm her.. Mike is no help. Grief is a constant companion. She has no time or interest in socializing with other football wives. She twice tries to return to law school, but winds up dropping out. When Mike moves them to a large expensive house in Boston's elite Beacon Hill neighborhood, Lisa resents the upheaval where she feels out of place.
Most of all, however, she is haunted by thoughts of her parents' expectations. is she a good enough mom? Are her parents proud of her? Slowly, the issues lead to a meltdown of the marriage.
Has love died? Or has it been buried beneath obligations faced by two young people armed only with good intentions?
Book 3) FAMILY INTERRUPTED
Shaken by tragedy, the Barnes family has fractured. Mother. Father. Son. Each dealing with their pain separately and alone. Holding fast to guilt and blame. Real or imagined. Who is to blame for Kayla's accidental death while playing soccer?
Claire, an artist who finally follows her dream and encounters a nightmare. Jack, a home builder who thinks he can fix anything--except what matters most. And Ian, a teenage son to be proud of. Until he moves out. Fifty miles away from the darkness at home.
On the verge of divorce when their son's new life goes terribly awry, Claire and Jack are forced to re-examine their lives in order to save their marriage and heal a family that, according to Ian, "has gone to hell."
Can they find the road back?