Grace Hammond is happiest holding a red pen and making corrections to the many grammatical errors in the world. If only she could do the same in her own life.
Thirty-something copy editor Grace is facing the romantic comedy setup trifecta of misfortune: she lost her job, her boyfriend dumped her, and her roof is leaking. While her Manhattan apartment is undergoing repairs, she spends two weeks at her childhood home in Connecticut as her parents plan a big birthday celebration for dad. By happy coincidence, Grace’s high school sweetheart, the one who got away, has also returned home for a few weeks. Fate has treated him more kindly, though, as he's in town directing a major feature film. In her effort to win back her lost love, Grace attempts a series of edits in her own life, failing both awkwardly and charmingly. Simses (The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café, 2013) gives readers a protagonist they can simultaneously root for and cringe over as they read about Grace’s antics. Most squirmworthy is a scene in which Grace bumbles through a TV news interview about the bike shop where she's temporarily employed, clumsily suggesting it would be lost without her. Despite her many social gaffes, Grace has three eligible bachelors pursuing her, and it's no surprise which one she ultimately chooses. Despite the lack of suspense, the story has real heart and emotional grit, primarily because of the rich and layered subplot about Grace’s sister’s fatal auto accident as a teen. After 17 years, Grace still blames herself and would love nothing more than a rewrite of that fateful night. Alas, there is no red pen for her greatest mistake.
In this sweet and heartfelt story, Simses provides a valuable lesson in the futility of striving for an error-free book of life. A lovely read.