I read my fair share of contemporary ‘happy’ books and I read them to feel a little more pepped up at the end of the protagonists character ARC and when she reaches an understanding of herself and her own goals. I start with this because I know by now which stories I enjoy and which I just like. This, unfortunately, landed in the second category for me. I am once again in the minority as all the rave reviews online would indicate so read this review with that fact in mind.
Madison has been made redundant (this is not a spoiler it is the core of the blurb) and has more free time than she has had in more than a decade of working for the same company. There are a lot of things that happen to Madison over the next few months as she decides to help her best friend out. She is now involved in the farm and the doggy day-care in it, all the community projects that Beth (her friend) was involved in. She is also making new strides in her forgotten relationship with her mother and digging into a father she never knew. Now, here come the reasons these did not stick with me: She realizes a lot of things while going about all these life-changing events, she lists it out for us and then goes ahead and ignores every single one of these facts. There is this incident where a waitress at a restaurant provides her with a piece of advice, she mistrusts it and ignores it but she then does not use this incident anywhere in the debates she has with a lot of people about the next step she has to take. Normally, I wait for the defining moment when the protagonist learns and grows and makes a stand. In this case, it came a little too late.
I normally do not list my grievances like this about a good book, but the thing was these facts acted as speed breakers as I was starting to really grow fond of Madison! I would have loved the book if these discrepancies did not come into my field of vision and then prevent me from enjoying further. Madison learns a lot about her community and all the little things that go into helping each other and this is well done and you can see how the life of a close-knit community. Life that might make things interesting or even inspiring for the average person. I would recommend this book to readers of this genre, who like a good community-oriented story.
I received an ARC thanks to Netgalley and the publishers but as you can see my review is completely based on my own reading experience.