THE OPTIMIST'S GUIDE TO LETTING GO by Amy E. Reichert

THE OPTIMIST'S GUIDE TO LETTING GO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Three generations of women cope with a grandmother’s stroke and a big family secret.

Recent widow Gina Zoberski is just trying to get through each day, working at the grilled-cheese food truck built by her late husband and taking care of her brooding teenage daughter, May. When her always-disapproving mother, Lorraine, has a serious stroke, Gina’s sister, Victoria, comes into town, and the two of them attempt to sort out their mother’s affairs. That’s when Gina finds a second copy of her birth certificate—one that has the name of a man she’s never heard of instead of the man she thought was her father. With Lorraine unable to communicate, Gina and Victoria attempt to learn about the past their status-obsessed mother never shared with them. Through flashbacks, readers see Lorraine fall in love with Gina's father and Gina fall in love with her late husband. Reichert (The Simplicity of Cider, 2017, etc.) also explores May’s point of view as she tries to cope with her grief and her first crush. Although the multiple points of view can sometimes slow the pace (and teenage May sometimes comes across as a little too naïve), each woman has a distinct voice that adds something to the story. Lorraine is more than just a critical mother—she’s also a woman who was once truly in love and was never able to grieve properly. Although May appears surly, she really craves a connection with her mother. And Gina, despite her optimistic outlook, is still mourning and unsure how to start the next chapter of her life. Readers will relate to the family’s struggles and develop an appetite for grilled cheese, as well.

A delicious read full of family and food.

Pub Date: May 15th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5011-5494-2
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2018




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