Reading Level: Adult
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. I have yet to read a Rainbow Rowell book (Fangirl and Eleanor and Park are on my wishlist), so I was eager to finally read a book by this author. This was a well done book about marriage and family that has a bit of a sci-fi/fantastical element to it. It was a quick and engaging read.
The story mainly deals with a woman, Georgie, who is struggling to balance work and family. When she and her husband split up over the holidays (Georgie stays at home to work, while her husband Neal takes the kids to the their grandparents), Georgie is worried that something bigger is wrong with their marriage. When Georgie can’t reach her husband on his cell phone for days, she is convinced that her marriage is falling apart. Then she tries to call Neal from the landline in her mom’s house and gets Neal…but it’s not the Neal from the present, it’s Neal from the past.
This was a heart-warming read about family and marriage and the sacrifices people make to make it all work. There are a lot of trendy issues in here; Neal is a stay at home dad, Georgie works way too much and barely sees the family, and Georgie’s sister Heather ends up revealing that she is gay. On top of all of this Georgie spends a ton of time with her co-worker and best friend which adds some tension to the whole thing, since said co-worker obviously has romantic feelings for Georgie. There is good discussion around all of this.
Georgie’s ability to call into the past and talk to her not-yet husband in the past gives the reader an interesting look into their relationship. Because of these calls Georgie has a lot of flashbacks into the early stages of her dating/marriage with Neal. Being able to see where their relationship started gave a lot more background into the story. Additionally Georgie is worried about her conversations with Neal in the past and if that is affecting how things will/have turned out in the future. So you have a bit of that time travel kind of conundrum throughout.
I really enjoyed the way things play out, that story has a bit of irony and symmetry to it that was very well done. It’s a heart-touching story that has some humor, and deals with a lot of issues families face today. I could definitely relate to some of Georgie’s struggles. There have been times in my life where work has overruled everything and I have had to step back and take a serious look at the effect this is having on my family. I also thought that the whole perspective as the mother as the sole bread-winner for the family was interesting.
Overall this was a very engaging and interesting read. I enjoyed the discussion around family issues and loved the fantastical ability of being able to talk to your spouse in the past. It was a funny, creative, and heart-warming read. It wasn’t the kind of thing I normally read (I like a bit more magic and fantasy and less drama) but I think fans of contemporary fiction will find a lot here to like. Let’s just say I definitelys still plan on checking out her YA books.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge