Tag Archives: Marriage

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.

Review: The Invisible Husband of Frick Island

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island
By Colleen Oakley
Berkley, 9781984806482, May 25, 2021, 368pp.

The Short of It:

This book was everything I wanted and needed in a story.

The Rest of It:

Piper Parrish lives on a tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay. She is well-loved by the island inhabitants and is overall, a very happy person. She works a few jobs and spends her days going back and forth between those obligations. But no matter how she keeps busy, she is constantly reminded of the one morning her husband Tom went out on his crab boat and never returned. The boat capsized, and his body was not found.

Anders Caldwell is a struggling journalist trying to garner a little bit of a following by hosting his own podcast and writing about local events. One such event takes him to Frick island. Frick is small, less than 100 people call the place home and it’s disappearing. Literally disappearing due to climate change and erosion. Anders decides to spend some time on the island to get the scoop but what he finds if much more interesting.

You see, Piper’s husband never returned but in her mind, he’s never left and is still by her side. The entire island goes along with it and Anders decides that this, THIS is his next big story. The story that will take his podcast to new levels and he’s not wrong.

Oh my word, what a book. I loved this book to pieces. It’s a sweet story about love, loss and moving on with your life. I could SEE these characters so clearly. Their quirkiness, their sense of humor but mostly the love they have for Piper. You could call this story a romance, but it’s so much more. It’s about community and loyalty and watching out for the ones you love. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy. It comes out this week! I highly recommend it.

Source: Review copy sent to me by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.