This is the sequel of a book I read and reviewed quite recently : here
This is one of the first books I have read, written with the actual time difference between the two. Two decades have elapsed in the lives of the protagonists that we were introduced to in the first book, and two decades have passed in the writing of it. It was written and placed in the time pre-pandemic else there would have been a whole other extra angle to the narrative!
I must say that I did not enjoy the first as much, mostly because I found it hard to like the flighty Carly. This experience was a whole lot better. Carly has many more facets to her personality now, and it is inherently who she is now. As with the book, my review is for people who have both read or not read the previous work. The author juxtaposes events with those that we knew of previously and those that happened in the intervening years to provide appropriate context. There are some (very few) chapters verbatim from the first book, ensuring that you do not need to pick the first up.
In the first book, Carly tracked a few significant exes to check if they were Mr Right. She finds her happily-ever-after for then. This book is about what happens after. Carly Cooper has a close-knit group of friends, one of whom lives next door. They are all an integral part of each other’s lives and their children’s. At the beginning of the book, we know that Carly is in trouble again and begins with a dramatic change in her life. Her friends rally around her and try to give her a new lease of life. This brings about a lot of introspection as well as the examination of changes that ageing and time brings in all their inter-relationships. It does not go too deep enough to linger but does track the changes that happen gradually throughout the book.
Carly’s bodily changes are referenced one too many times for my liking, but given the mental state she is in, it is believable that she thinks about it that aggressively. It is filled with family and friends and an overall quick read. It had some more touchy-feely moments than others, but overall I was satisfied when I put the book down (although I did not really like the ending choice, which is saying something).
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.