When We Were Strangers is a beautiful, can't-put-it-down, read. The story moves quickly, vibes like a movie, but is complex in it's intricacies and nuanced layers. At face value you have a very empathetic main character with the best name ever, Evie Parker, dealing with the unexpected loss of a parent. While moving through her grief she uncovers secrets and comes to terms that her parents are people too with their own complexities.
*spoliers* Evie's grief has it's own intricacies, having lost a parent at an age when perhaps we are already on rocky terms with them as we define our own lives and boundaries. The level of regrets and struggle to come to terms is incredible in this story. While I haven't lost a parent, I have had a parent figure leave for an affair and have deep empathy for Evie when she discovers her father's affair. I stalked via the internet rather than a lens of a camera. The photography added such a mysterious vibe to the whole story. As a mom now, I also had deep empathy for Evie's mother and did long for more of her mother's POV.
The central characters in this novel are well developed. I love the bffs and friends developed along the way and very much want to go to Santa Fe right now.