In The Might Have Been by Joseph M. Schuster, Edward Everett Yates is having a horrible year. His wife has left him, he’s still stuck managing a single A ball club in No Where, Iowa, and he’s pretty sure he’s going to be fired at the end of the season. At 60, Edward isn’t sure what he’ll do and finds himself looking back on what could have been.
I must be a glutton for punishment reading a baseball book in December. Pitchers and catchers don’t report for two more months. Schuster’s descriptions of the game are so spot on accurate, I felt like I was at a game. I could smell the scent of food wafting on a warm summer breeze, hear the concession guy hollar, “Peanuts! Ice Cold Beer”, and vividly see the brilliant green of the outfield as the players shifted to accommodate the batter.
Schuster’s love for the game pours through the pages. His main character, Edward, could be found at any minor league club. The experienced player turned manager, who for one brief glorious moment got called to “The Show”. Edward’s time at the Majors was so brief that if you blinked, you would miss it. A career ending injury, forces him to seek employment outside of baseball. Only Edward has baseball running through his veins and he returns, eventually becoming the manager that his players look back on fondly.
In An Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates, Dawn Campbell had it all: the high profile job, the swanky apartment, and the hot boyfriend. In a blink of an eye, it’s all gone and Dawn retreats from the city to her parents home to lick her wounds. When she gets back home, she discovers her childhood friend and crush, John has moved back home. Despite being married, John and Dawn have undeniable chemistry but John refuses to do more than kiss Dawn. Deciding to confront his wife, Dawn marches over one day only to discover that perfect Marguerite isn’t so perfect after all. The two women become unlikely friends and that friendship changes the lives of everyone they know.
When I first started reading this book, I assumed this was going to be a sweet romance. Dawn would convince John to leave the shrew known as Marguerite, and they would get a HEA. The story is about so much more. It’s about friendships, loss, choices made, and redefining yourself.
Dawn was a difficult character for me to like. I think mainly because it was due to her penchant for married men. She knew John was married (as well as her ex boyfriend in the city) and yet she still kept after him.
Gradually, Dawn grew on me as she changed. Her friendship with Marguerite, though strained at first, made her into a better person. Suddenly Dawn wasn’t as selfish and self absorbed and it made her more like able.
In The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, Enzo isn’t like other dogs and he knows it. With a deep philosophical soul, Enzo could be almost human if only he had opposable thumbs. Unfortunately, Enzo doesn’t so he spends his life with his human, race car driver, Denny Swift. Together the two of them celebrate Denny’s successes on and off the track and comfort each other when Denny’s life takes a turn for the worst.
I read this book for my book club back in March 2014. I was highly skeptical when I heard the narrator was a dog. How good could an adult fiction book be good with this quirk? The answer: AMAZING!
Enzo has wonderful insights into human nature. He feels the same emotions his human family does. Enzo feels the pangs of jealousy when Denny meets his future wife, the heart bursting feeling of love when Denny’s daughter, Zoe is born, and the adrenaline rush of watching racing. Enzo picks up much quicker than his human family on the pitfalls they are facing and feels overwhelming frustration at not being able to communicate what he knows will happen. Continue reading
Two friends, one single one married, are once again united on the island of Quinnipeague. Since childhood they have shared many happy memories on the island until 10 years ago when Nicole married Julian. It was at the time of that marriage when life changed their friendship and their lives. Charlotte, a successful travel writer, lives on the road with no ties to any one place. Nicole is a food blogger from Philadelphia who has been commissioned to write a book about island food. As a result she invites her old friend Charlotte, to spend a summer on Quinnipeague, helping her with interviewing the locals to capture their island recipes and their family stories.
What neither realizes is there are secrets they each hold that will change the course of their lives and their friendship. However, these secrets also hold the key to helping each love again more fully both in their friendship and in their relationships with their husband and a reclusive local man who has mysterious secrets of his own.
Update – Congratulations to Silver for winning JB Lynn’s giveaway! Thank you to all who participated!
If you haven’t read any books in the Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series you are missing out on a seriously funny and entertaining series. Download the samples from Amazon or Barnes & Noble and you will see why! You can even pick up a free copy of The Hitwoman Gets Lucky on Amazon. Today, I got the pleasure of interviewing Patrick, the hero in the series and JB Lynn is giving away a digital copy of one of her books.
About the Book: