By: Linda Holmes
Published Year: 2019
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth "Evvie" Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn't correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy's childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the "yips": he can't throw straight anymore, and he can't figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.
When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie's house, the two make a deal: Dean won't ask about Evvie's late husband, and Evvie won't ask about Dean's baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken--and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they'll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they've broken, the plans they've changed, and the secrets they've kept. They'll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there's always a chance--right up until the last out.
I LOVE the cover of this book. The font, the colors, everything. Then my friends shared with me that it was written by one of the hosts of the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour and I was intrigued. Add in that it was a romance novel about baseball and I knew it was going to be on my summer reading list.
What I thought
Evvie lost her husband about a year ago on the day that she was planning on leaving him. Dean is a Major League Baseball pitcher who has lost the ability to pitch. Evvie and Dean are both friends with Andy, who decides that it would be mutually beneficial for Dean to move into Evvie’s extra apartment. Evvie needs the money and the company and Dean needs to get away from New York City.
Have you ever read a book that makes you feel nothing? That was, unfortunately, the case for me with this book. Two of my friends read it prior to me and both of them enjoyed it a lot, so I expected to enjoy it too. We pretty consistently have the same taste in books. Unfortunately, something about this book just didn’t work for me.
It started out with Dean. He didn’t give me those excited “aw” feelings. I read this book immediately following The Rest of the Story, where I got “aw” feelings about Roo and Dean didn’t compare, even though Roo was a teenage boy. I also didn’t like the 0 to 100 anger escalation that Dean had going on. I get that he had a lot going on in his life, so it’s not that I felt like he had no right to be angry. But I felt like he was getting angry at Evvi in such an over the top way. Like, his reactions did not sit with the situation at all, in my opinion. Besides that, I didn’t see what Evvie saw in him. He was just an average, normal guy. I mean, besides the fact that he’s a talented pitcher.
I did like Evvie. I know she had a lot of issues, but I found that for the most part I liked the way she handled everything. I thought that she was going to get on my nerves, but she didn’t. Sure, there were moments when her choices bothered me, but overall I was ok with her.
I also got a little annoyed with Andy. I liked him at first and then he irritated me. He did redeem himself but it was hard for a little in the middle. Since I like character driven novels, it was a little hard for me to get excited about this story when I wasn’t really excited about any of the characters.
The other issue I had was the timeline. While the story was broken into seasons, I still felt like I never knew how much time had passed. I was reading about Thanksgiving and then next thing I knew it was after Groundhog Day? Where did Christmas go? I also think that this book had a little too much realism for me. It wasn’t a fairytale type of story, but more of a realistic love story and that was a little harder for me.