By: Marin Thomas
Published Year: 2017
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): One woman's journey home gets derailed by her soon-to-be ex-mother-in-law in a novel filled with humor, small-town charm, rekindled love, and the resilient ties of family.
Cast aside by her cheating husband, Katelyn Chandler is ready to pack it all in and drive home to Little Springs, Texas. She wants a chance to regroup, reconnect with her mother, and get back to her art.
But Shirley Pratt--master manipulator, elitist snob, and Katelyn's terror of a live-in monster-in-law--has other ideas. Shirley insists on joining Katelyn's trip after her son tries to pack her off to a retirement community. Katelyn has no choice but to play peacekeeper between the ornery old woman and the proud matrons of Little Springs. Yet the small town seems to be changing Shirley. And as Katelyn weighs the wisdom of picking up where she left off with Jackson Mendoza, the town bad boy and her high school sweetheart, she must find a way to believe in the strength of her dreams.
The cover drew me in on this one for sure. I am a sucker for road trip books. I was a bit wary about the mother-in-law aspect of the summary, but decided it could end up being really cute.
What I thought
Katelyn unexpectedly receives divorce papers from her husband of 19 years. He tells her that he is leaving her and that the house will be on the market the next day, leaving her no place to live and the only option for his mother is an apartment that he bought without her input or knowledge. Shirley, Katelyn’s mother-in-law and pain in her a$$, decides she wants to stick it to her jerk of a son and wants to go with Katelyn to Texas. Katelyn decides that she wants to go back to her small hometown in Little Springs Texas to see her mother and get back to the dreams she had before her marriage and her children.
There were a few things here and there that bothered me. Some of them were silly things, like the fact that Shirley is 65 and painted to be a very old woman. I mean, I know that 65 isn’t young, but the way they described her in the summary and even the way that she acts at times, I pictured her as much older. The other thing that bothered me was repetitive writing. It seems as though Thomas repeated a lot of the same phrases throughout the book to really drive home the thoughts and feelings, but instead I would read them and just think “I already know this.” For example, every time Jackson and Katelyn were thinking about each other it was the same old thoughts. Because of that, I never felt like I wanted them to get together.
Personally, Shirley and Birdie were my favorite part of the entire story. I loved their pasts and how they were dealing with their present. I also really enjoyed their banter and wish we could have seem some more of their interactions.
Unfortunately, Katelyn fell a little flat to me. While I liked a lot of the aspects of her personality, such as her strength and resilience, she was a bit whiney and never seemed to quite find herself. It just seemed like over and over again she was realizing that she hadn’t been as happy in her marriage as she originally thought she was.
There was not a true road trip element to this book, contrary to what the cover would make you believe. Shirley and Katelyn make it to Text pretty quickly. The cast of side characters in the smalle town of Little Springs was wonderful. I would gladly read more books about the town and the people in it. I just didn’t connect with Katelyn as much as I wanted to, even though I enjoyed her story.