For someone who owns a chocolate shop, Sophie Jones is not very sweet. Her life is full of tragedy, starting with her parents’ death in a car crash on her ninth birthday, up to her fiancé Garrett mysteriously breaking up with her and moving away mere days before their wedding.
Always a realist and a cynic, Sophie knows that nothing lasts forever and disappointment is always around the corner, and is dismayed when Garrett comes back into her life.
Garrett has had a change of heart and wants another chance to make her happy. She says that true happiness is fleeting, while Garrett contends that there is no limit.
They make an agreement: Garrett will put an ad in the local paper seeking long-term happiness, and if he gets 100 responses that meet Sophie’s exacting standards, she will go out on one last date and hear why he left her.
Fans of Nicholas Sparks will enjoy this uplifting novel about second chances, circumstance, coincidence, and, of course, happiness. –Hilary Hatton
Momma always told CeeCee (short for Cecelia Rose) that “being in the North isn’t living—it’s absolute hell.” Of course, having to live with Momma—Camille Sugarbaker Honeycutt, that is, Vidalia Onion Queen, 1951—doesn’t make it any more heavenly, especially when Momma starts standing in the front yard blowing kisses to passersby.
You know this is going to end badly, and so it does, when the erstwhile onion queen is run over by a speeding Happy Cow Ice Cream Truck.
Before you can say “sweet magnolia blossoms,” 12-year-old CeeCee is sent off to Savannah to live with her elderly great aunt, Tallulah Caldwell, and her wise African American housekeeper and cook, Oletta.
It being 1967, you know there will be one dark episode of racial hatred, but it’s quickly—and conveniently—resolved offstage, leaving all the characters free to continue being relentlessly eccentric, upbeat, sweet as molasses, and living, as CeeCee puts it with a straight face, “in a breezy, flower-scented fairy tale . . . a strange, perfumed world that . . . seemed to be run entirely by women.”
Light as air but thoroughly pleasant reading. –Michael Cart
Some widows face their loss with denial. Sophie Stanton’s reaction is one of pure bafflement. “How can I be a widow?” Sophie asks at the opening of Lolly Winston’s sweet debut novel, Good Grief. “I’m only thirty-six. I just got used to the idea of being married.”
Sophie’s young widowhood forces her to do all kinds of crazy things–drive her car through her garage door, for instance.
That’s on one of the rare occasions when she bothers to get out of bed.
The Christmas season especially terrifies her: “I must write a memo to the Minister of Happier Days requesting that the holidays be cancelled this year.”
But widowhood also forces her to do something very sane. After the death of her computer programmer husband, she reexamines her life as a public relations agent in money-obsessed Silicon Valley. Sophie decides to ease her grief, or at least her loneliness, by moving in with her best friend Ruth in Ashland, Oregon.
But it’s her difficult relationship with psycho teen punker Crystal, to whom she becomes a Big Sister, that mysteriously brings her at least a few steps out of her grief.
Winston allows Sophie life after widowhood: The novel almost indiscernibly turns into a gentle romantic comedy and a quirky portrait of life in an artsy small town.
At all stops on her journey from widow to survivor, Sophie is a lively, crabby, delightfully imperfect character. –Claire Dederer —
I picked this book to read because it was in the “Librarian Recommends” section. I did not know that it was a series, but I do not feel that I missed anything by not reading the books before this one.
I liked Truly, Madly. I liked the heroine. I liked the love interest. It was a good, fun, quick read. But I do not think that I will read the books before this one. The one thing that I did not like about this book was the fact that she kept her psychic powers quiet and it affected all of her relationships. She gets “outed” in Truly, Madly, and it is a huge relief! So I am interested in following this character from this point forward.
Gerald Dunwoody is a wizard. Just not a particularly good one. He’s blown up a factory, lost his job, and there’s a chance that he’s not really a Third Grade wizard after all. So it’s off to New Ottosland to be the new Court Wizard for King Lional.
It’s a shame that King Lional isn’t the vain, self-centered young man he appeared to be. With a Princess in danger, a talking bird who can’t stay out of trouble, and a kingdom to save, Gerald soon suspects that he might be out of his depth. And if he can’t keep this job, how will he ever become the wizard he was destined to be…
This book advertises itself as a modern day Sense and Sensibility. And as you read along, you think you know where it is going. And you would think wrong. It is as if the author read the book or saw the movie, made it to the end and said, “No, no, that’s not it!” and wrote her own book to “fix” it.
There were so many things about this book I did not like. First, the F bomb is dropped. A lot.
Second, the ‘girls’ in this book were 48 and 50. It made for an odd Elinor and Marianne. Not a good fit.
Also, there was no happy ending for the mother. She really deserved one.
An interesting read, I am always interested in Austen re-do’s, but not my favorite.