Getting Over Gary
by Jessica Redland
Publisher: So Vain Books
Publishing Date: 3rd March 2016
Series: Whitsborough Bay #2
Source: Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)
It was supposed to be the perfect fairy-tale. Elise married her childhood sweetheart, Gary, straight out of college, and they’ve been happy together for over twelve years. Elise is now desperate to start a family, but Gary doesn’t seem to share her enthusiasm anymore. Arriving home early from a party, she discovers why: Gary’s been keeping a secret from her. A very big secret.
While her own marriage appears to be falling apart, being a supportive bridesmaid for her best friend, Sarah, isn’t easy. Especially not when Clare, her nemesis from day one, is one of the other bridesmaids. If she’s going to get through it, she needs to put her own feelings aside, find herself again, and get over Gary. Fast.
Could recently-divorced Daniel be the tonic Elise needs, or is he full of secrets and lies too? Is his hostile, but strangely attractive brother, Michael, the genuine article instead? And why do the good guys like Stevie turn her down?
But then Elise discovers she has a secret of her own and getting over Gary suddenly becomes the least of her worries…
„Getting Over Gary” is my second book by Jessica Redland, and also the second in the Whitsborough Bay series. The book that I’ve read was „Raving About Rhys”, so not the first part of the series, but „Getting Over Gary” can be absolutely read as a stand – alone novel. (The title of the first book in the series is „Searching for Steven” – can you see a pattern here? ).
The book follows Elise, head over heel in love with her husband Gary. The only thing that she misses so very much is a baby, but Gary is not so keen on becoming a father. He’s also very dismissive lately, and I don’t think I’ll be letting out a secret, as the clue is already in the title, and also in the synopsis, that Elise and Gary are going to break up, but what shocked me so much and took me totally by surprise was the reason of it. This I haven’t seen coming.
Nevertheless, after getting to know Gary I couldn’t understand why it takes Elise so much to get over him. He was a liar, a coward and maybe at the beginning their marriage looked differently, but I got to know him as a very unpleasant person. On the other hand, he was Elise’s sweetheart, they had thousands of memories, they had a life together, so it’s normal that Elise needed time to come to terms with this wholly new situation: the reason of the divorce and the fact of being alone and not having a chance to be a mother now. Also, it doesn’t help that her friends and members of her family are either getting married or getting babies! I really fell for poor Elise, you could feel her pain and hurt.
There are many, many characters in the book, a few of them introduced to us within the action, but I didn’t have a problem to know who is who and why. The plot had a few surprising twists and turns and the first one was the secret that Gary kept.
What bothered me a little, as I always find it a little on the too far – fetched side, is when all the men fall immediately for the heroine, in this case Elise. Please don’t get me wrong, but I think she was not so special and yet there was a long queue waiting for her affection. We have the two brothers Michael and Daniel, and Elise’s friend Stevie, and I’d go as far and say that if we were in the other times, they would fetch their swords/pistols and challenged themselves to a duel over her.
Of course the author makes Elise’s life very complicated, and Elise herself doesn’t help the situation as she often puts herself into many embarrassing situations. She’s this kind of character that’s very prone to accident and if something is going to happen, then it will happen to Elise. And sure, she had her moments of breakdown – who wouldn’t have! – but then she pulled herself together and started afresh, and this is what I mostly liked about her. Because don’t get me wrong, but I’d love to see more depths and personalities to the characters, as they were a little too flat and too straight – forward and predictable for my liking. Yes, there were moments that I felt a little desperate with Elise, when she was too self – pitying, when I didn’t agree with her choices, but those were her choices and she was the one to make mistakes and live with the consequences. But there was also a moment that I was prepared to give her a standing ovation – when she finally stood up to her devil mother – in – law. That was a scene!
So altogether, I haven’t expected that I’ll end this book enjoying it so much. It turned out to be an entertaining and very light read. Maybe it’s not going to stay with you for ever, but nevertheless, it had this „something” that I’m looking for in books. It was funny, it was sad, it was a little too long but in the end I finished it feeling satisfied. I am already waiting for more from Jessica Redland!