Review: Count The Ways

Count The Ways

Count The Ways
By Joyce Maynard
William Morrow, 9780062398277, July 13, 2021, 464pp.

The Short of It:

An amazingly heartfelt story about a family.

The Rest of It:

The easiest way to describe Maynard’s newest story is to say that it’s a story about life. The life that you and I know,  have lived or are currently living. As I was reading it, I could relate to different parts of the story as well as different characters as they were walking through it.

At a young age, Eleanor scrimped and saved to buy a farm and the small but lovely house that came along with it. Having some success writing children’s books, she built a small, humble home for herself and when she falls in love with Cam, he immediately becomes her future. The talk of kids and family and raising them on the farm is all that matters to them and so they waste no time. Three children later, Eleanor’s writing career is somewhat on pause due to raising her young children, Eleanor and Cam struggle to make ends meet. Cam? Not concerned. He has what he wants. He’s creating his burl bowls in his workshop and he’s surrounded by his family.

Although the bowls he creates are beautiful, they don’t sell and with Eleanor’s writing career on hold, she slowly begins to resent Cam’s easy going attitude about making, or not making a living. He is the fun parent. Always stepping in to whisk the kids away to the waterfall, or play with them all day long while Eleanor sits in the house trying to come up with new story ideas. During these times, the cracks begin to show. The cracks in their marriage. All is not gold. Is it ever?

This is such a reflective type of read. Eleanor feels every bit of her age as her children grow. The hours spent feeding them, changing their diapers, tending to their every need. It all leaves a mark. At the same time though, it’s exactly what she wanted from life. A home. A family. A loving man to call her husband. As the home life she creates begins to unravel around her, she wonders why she never wanted more for herself.

I loved this story. There is so much to ponder. Especially for me, as my own kids leave this nest we’ve created. I’d turn a page and read something that I’d have to sit with for a little while before moving forward. I’d go to bed thinking about this family, about missed opportunities and about friends and the idea of home and what it means to each of us. This family will stay with  me for a very long time.

Simply put, get yourself a copy. It doesn’t matter if you are married, single, have had kids or not. There is something here for everyone. Highly recommend.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

14 thoughts on “Review: Count The Ways”

  1. Beautiful review Ti. This is one of those stories that will never leave me. I’m not sure I would have been as moved by it had I never married and had kids though. I know I will be rereading this one – a gem.

    1. What did you make of the title? I know on FB she wanted to originally call the book The Cork People but her publisher wanted her to rethink that. I love the title but I was thinking about what it represents here. Count the ways you can love a family? Count the ways loved ones can make an impact on you?

  2. Sounds awesome Ti. Great review too. So glad you liked this one so much. I’m on the List for it. And perhaps I will take it on my Calif trip coming up on Aug. 7. hmm. Might be good for the beach … and visit with my parents. hmm.

  3. I only skimmed your review (the parts about the plot), so I could go into this book completely cold. I’m so glad it’s getting such high praise, as I really like Maynard’s novels, and I’m glad it was such a big winner with you. I love books about families that I can relate to!

  4. A book that makes you pause and think is such a wonderful thing. Glad to hear this is so good.

Leave a Reply to gulfsidemusing Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s