What Happens When Your Lifelong Path Dead Ends?
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Evvie Drake Starts Over is my favorite kind of book, one that makes me laugh and cry and that teaches a life lesson or two.
Evvie has a secret that she has told no one. She hasn’t told her best friend Andy – a male pal she goes to with all her problems. Nor has she told her father – the parent who raised her since young childhood when the mom walked away. No one knows her plan to leave her husband and their seemingly happy marriage. But on the day that she was actually, physically in the process of leaving Tim, a well-respected doctor in the community, he died in a car accident. Living in small town Calcasset, Maine, where everyone knows everyone’s business, she suddenly needs to be the bereaved widow and this throws her into a tailspin.
Meanwhile, Andy has a friend from childhood, Dean Tenney. He is a major league baseball player, indeed, a famous pitcher. He has a problem too, though his problem is hardly secret, it has been splashed across the news nationwide. It has been examined by sports fans, critics, and pundits everywhere. He has a case of the “yips.” This means that suddenly, out of nowhere, he lost his ability to pitch a ball.
When Dean needs a refuge from the limelight in New York, he comes to visit Andy. Thinking of Evvie and the dual “facts” that her husband died without an insurance policy and that she needs money, Andy sets them up as landlord and tenant in Evvie’s too-big house that just happens to have a built-in apartment on the side.
When they do indeed begin living under her roof, they make a deal with each other that she won’t ask about baseball and he won’t ask about her husband. But even without those major topics, there is a lot to explore. A friendship ensues and then more.
It’s all very charming and both Evvie and Dean have great senses of humor, so it’s funny too. But it’s more than just fluff. With Evvie, we explore the issues of abandonment in childhood and emotional abuse in marriage. And with Dean there’s the issue of what happens when your lifelong path suddenly dead ends. But please note that these heavy topics are treated with a light hand.
Before reading the book, I did not know about the author, Linda Holmes. Now I know she is the host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and I know she is a wonderful writer. I’m going to be on the lookout for her next book, hoping this will be her signature style: books that make you laugh and cry and that teach a life lesson or two. I really loved this book!
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