Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber

In this powerful and uplifting novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber, a mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over. Leaning on each other, Nichole and Leanne discover that their inner strength and capacity for love are greater than they ever imagined.
When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.
Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.
An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 Stars

Debbie Macomber has a knack for writing a novel that is a quick read, but is still satisfying to read.

The thing I like about her writing is that I can see  these people as real. They don't tend to be overboard in their actions, which is an annoying factor in a novel, nor are they so ordinary as to be boring.

I think that Debbie's been moving toward rougher characters in her novels, which I've been enjoying. Her take on these characters has felt real and, again, she hasn't made them into caricatures of themselves. It began, at least for me, with Max from the Blossom Street series and his biker persona and has moved to Rocco in this book. Finding the heart beneath these rough characters adds a nice element to the story.

The "villains" of the book were, regrettably, real as well. I felt the pain that Leanna and Nichole experienced with what their ex-husbands put them through. I would have understood if neither of them had ever forgiven those men, but they were the bigger people and I found that admirable. Being cheated on and having your ex manipulate you to do what he wants, or not have something that makes you happy, would have made some people bitter, but watching these women have the strength to move on and stand on their own two feet against their situation was inspiring.

The only thing that kept me from giving this a full five stars is the fact that, while the writing is good, there are several portions that feel superfluous. I think that you could cut out several paragraphs per chapter and not lose anything to the story.

Music Recommendation

This song reminded me of Nichole and Rocco especially because they have a moment near the end when things are getting really tough and nearly let their chance at happiness go by because of a difficult situation.

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