Sunday, December 24, 2017

Things To Do When It's Raining by Marissa Stapley

A special thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Mae Summers and Gabriel Broadbent were childhood friends.  They grew up together at the Summers' Inn which is owned by Mae's grandparents, Lilly and George.  Mae and Gabriel were raised together—Mae was orphaned at a young age, and Gabriel needed protection from his abusive alcoholic father.  Their relationship progressed into their first loves, and the young couple were torn apart when Gabe abruptly left Alexandria Bay.

Fast forward and Mae and Gabe are grown.  Both end up back in Alexandria Bay—Mae after a romantic setback, and Gabe because of his father.  Mae returns to her grandparents Inn and finds that her grandparents relationship is suffering because of past secrets that also impact her.  Are these relationships worth salvaging and the past worth reclaiming?

Stapley's latest offering is a story about love, loss, forgiveness, and truth.  Families are complicated, and this book doesn't shy away from family drama and complex relationships.

I enjoyed the character development, setting, and premise for this story.  Sometimes when a narrative incorporates both the past and the present, it can be cumbersome for the reader particularly if they have connected with one storyline over the other.  In this case, this type of narrative worked because of well-written characters with solid development.  My only criticisms were that I wanted more of Gabe's present story, and that the ending felt rushed.  Given the pace throughout the book, the ending should not have unfolded as abruptly as it did.

MARISSA STAPLEY is the Globe and Mail bestselling author of Mating for Life. She writes the commercial fiction review column "Shelf Love" for the Globe and Mail, reports on books and culture for the Toronto Star.

She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.    


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