In International Book Award–winning novelist Crosby’s (The Summer of New Beginnings, 2018, etc.) continuation of her Magnolia Grove series, a woman focuses on building a life for herself and her hearing-impaired son when the past comes knocking at her door.
Tracy Briggs finally feels like things are coming together for her. She runs Snip ‘n Save, the coupon magazine that her family owns; her son, Lucas Briggs, is getting the education and help that he needs; and she starts acknowledging her romantic feelings toward the man who founded her son’s school. But just when she thinks that she’s put Lucas’ father, Dominic DeLuca, in her rearview mirror, he arrives back in town to look after his dying grandmother. He’s finding it difficult to move on, and his actions threaten the stability of Tracy’s new life. Crosby effectively explores relationships between siblings, between parents and their children, and between romantic partners in this novel, as well as showing how one can allow the past to dictate one’s future. As Tracy realizes that her passion may not lie with the magazine, her sister Meghan voices a desire to maintain her father’s legacy, despite the fact that she has other priorities in her life. Dominic’s grandmother, Alice DeLuca, wants to leave her farm to her great-grandson, but Dominic allows old grievances to warp his worldview. Meghan and Tracy’s mother, Lila Briggs, sums it up best: “If you keep the past in there, crowding your closet, you won’t have room for what you need for the future.” Throughout this book, the author beautifully explores the theme of letting go of the past while preserving its best parts, and its intense third act will hit home with any parent who’s ever had to deal with an estranged ex. Crosby’s storytelling is straightforward and uncomplicated, and the characters’ conversations feel consistently lifelike and authentic.
A sweet novel that aims to remind readers that the best moments in life may sometimes be the most ordinary.