Author: Maggie Leffler
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Summary: Enjoyable and heartwarming with great characters, but it also felt fairly average and obvious.
Mary Browning has led a full and exciting life, but as she has gotten older and suffered several losses, she’s become lonely and withdrawn. She has also avoided sharing her life story with anyone, despite a desire to write her memoirs, until a young woman named Elyse joins her writing group. Elyse’s resemblance to Mary’s younger sister prompts her to open up and begins a relationship that will help both of them find the emotional support they’re missing in their lives.
I love historical fiction with alternating viewpoints. I typically enjoy the suspense and interconnections enabled by the multiple viewpoints and this book was no exception. I liked the slow reveal of Mary’s past and the developing connections between her life and Elyse’s. However, the transitions were a bit jarring. The chapter titles with years in the name were always Mary’s past, but there was no easy way to distinguish Elyse’s and Mary’s points of view in the present until you started reading. I was also disappointed the author didn’t use the obvious mechanism of telling Mary’s story to us when Mary was telling it to Elyse or when Elyse was listening to recordings Mary made. I think this would have made the transitions feel more natural.
The writing felt welcoming in its familiarity, but also very average for the genre. It was precisely what I expected and not anything more, nothing that stood out to me. The story also felt fairly obvious and mundane to me, with connections that were a bit contrived. Despite the fact that this didn’t blow me away, I enjoyed reading it. It was sweet and heartwarming. Both characters were dealing with a plethora of truly believable problems and their emotional development was convincing as well. If you’re looking for a cozy read and enjoy this type of story, I think this book is likely to be exactly what you’re looking for.
For some other perspectives, check out the other stops on the tour.