A Girl’s Guide to Moving On
by Debbie Macomber
Publishing Date: 10th March 2016
Source: Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
How do you move on after your life has fallen apart?
When Leanne and her daughter-in-law Nichole went through divorces at the same time, they compiled a list to help them move on from the heartbreak. Now, two years on, these unlikely best friends have managed to pick up the pieces, and love is on the cards for both of them.
Leanne’s friendship with Eric, one of her language students, has deepened into something more meaningful. And Nichole has finally allowed herself to trust a man again. Rocco is the complete opposite of her ex-husband, and though he’s a little rough around the edges, he has a heart of gold.
But just when it seems they’ve figured it all out, life throws up more challenges, putting their hard-won contentment at risk…
Debbie Macomber is a very popular author in the women’s literature and her literary output is huge. I’ve discovered her for myself relatively late, but you know, I’m a late starter Nevertheless, „A Girl’s Guide to Moving On” is my third or fourth book by this author, and as soon as I’ve seen this title, followed by this gorgeous cover and very promising synopsis, I wanted to read this novel. By all means.
The book follows basically two stories, this of Leanne and this of Nichole, mother and daughter – in – law, though Leanne sees Nichole as her own daughter that she’s never had. Told alternatively, in first person POV, so we get two different – or not so different, as both women divorced recently, both start new lives and both try a new romance – stories at once that give us a great insight into the souls and hearts of those two women.
However, the book turned out to be something different to what I was expecting. The title of this novel would suggest something light and funny, and I was hoping for an extremely original, funny list of things to do after you’re divorced. Nonetheless, the book was for me on the more serious side, and the list consisted of only 4 items that were rather serious. Nevertheless, I am of course not going to judge the book on my expectations, and even though I was hoping for a light read, I still enjoyed the story of two women who turned out to be stronger than they thought.
From such an author as Debbie Macomber I have expected better characters. Yes, they were polished to the perfection, but I missed more life and personalities in them. The one that I couldn’t stand – I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t! – was Nikolai, Leanne’s mature student from the Ukraine. I just couldn’t fathom this man, and I have no idea where all his expectations and demands towards Leanne came from. If it were love, than he’s chosen a very weird way to demonstrate it.
Both the exes were so very clichéd, just like, let’s be honest, all the characters. It pained me almost all the times when they both entered the scenes, with their actions, dialogues and their attempts of manipulations and emotional blackmail. It also pained me to see that both the female characters, Leanne and her daughter – in – law Nichole, were very prone to be manipulated. The two men were both liars, womanizers, cheaters and treated women like the last dirt, and were both rather very despicable men – and it was like this in this book, the characters were either good or bad ones. Only after seeing what they’ve just lost, both Sean and Jake were trying to manipulate their ex – wives to get them back – will they fall for their shenanigans?
Rocco and his daughter Kaylene added some of the needed pepper to the story and I enjoyed the scenes where they contributed, though it took me some time to get used to Rocco and his specific demeanour to be honest, but altogether, I think they were the most colourful and lively characters in the story.
The dialogues were a little wooden for my liking. The events rolled rather slowly in the novel, but there was enough action to keep me reading, and, like I’ve already mentioned, Rocco and his teenage daughter saved the book for me, because even the exes’ attempts to get their wives back (yes, guys. Of course they suddenly wanted to have their unappreciated wives back, after seeing what they’ve just lost) were so obvious.
So altogether, it was a very predictable story, but on the other hand it had a cosy, nice feeling to it. I haven’t spotted any life changing situations there, the characters didn’t develop, but it was very well written and I wanted to turn the pages to see what’s going to happen. I also enjoyed the fact that the book started already after the divorce and we were witnesses to Leanne and Nichola finding their own feet on their own – not like so many other heroines claiming they want to be independent, but at the first obstacle running for help to their ex – husbands, boyfriends, friends – no, they did it on their own. So all in all, it was nice to read this little, not too demanding romance – not demanding even though the author took upon writing some more serious and difficult issues.