NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Two women at different stages of life find themselves on a journey of renewal after undergoing hardships in this uplifting novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.
“Wise, warm, witty, and charmingly full of hope, this story celebrates the surprising and unexpected ways that family, friendship, and love can lift us up.”—Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Four Winds
Joan Sample is not living the life she expected. Now a widow and an empty-nester, she has become by her own admission something of a recluse. But after another birthday spent alone, she is finally inclined to listen to her sister, who has been begging Joan to reengage with the world. With Emmie’s support, Joan gathers the courage to take some long-awaited steps: hiring someone to tame her overgrown garden, joining a grief support group, and even renting out a room to a local college student. Before long Joan is starting to feel a little like herself again.
Across town, Maggie Herbert works mornings as a barista, tending to impatient customers before rushing to afternoon nursing classes. She lives with her alcoholic father, ducking his temperamental outbursts and struggling to pay the household bills. But her circumstances brighten when she finds a room for rent in Joan’s home. In the unexpected warmth of her new situation, Maggie finds a glimmer of hope for a better life. But will Maggie’s budding attraction to one of her favorite customers ruin the harmony she’s only recently found with Joan? Meanwhile, what is Joan to make of the mysterious landscaper who’s been revitalizing her garden—a man who seems to harbor a past loss of his own?
As Maggie and Joan confront difficult life choices, they draw strength from this new friendship in surprising ways—discovering in the process that “found family” is often the very best kind.
Bestseller Macomber (The Best Is Yet to Come) delivers exactly the type of sweet and squeaky clean small-town romance that fans expect. Four years after Joan Sample's beloved husband died suddenly from an aneurysm, the 54-year-old widow is still struggling to come to grips with her loss. A bit of a shut-in, she's pulled from her rut by her sister, Emmie, who encourages her to get some human contact by taking in a boarder. Meanwhile, the local homeowner's association sends Joan a reprimand for her poor lawn maintenance. These coinciding events bring two fresh faces into Joan's orbit: struggling young barista Maggie Herbert, who moves into Joan's spare room, and strapping lawyer turned landscape architect Phil Harrison. Maggie's grieving her late mother and burdened with caring for her alcoholic father, while Phil is haunted by the death of his daughter. Together, these three wounded souls work through their pain, offering mutual comfort and support and encouraging each other to embrace life—including romances for all three. With skillful plotting and believable characters who tug at the heartstrings, Macomber's latest does not disappoint. Her vast and loyal readership will eat this up.
A story that hits home!
For me a very relatable story. The story of Joan journey through her grief of losing suddenly her husband, soulmate and work partner. Then Covid hits and four years later Joan is basically a recluse. Her sister is worried and tries to have her rejoin life. Her sons are not sure what to do with mom. When the HOA sends her a letter siting several offenses she needs to pull herself together.
There are several strong characters in the story, which gives Joan a purpose in life. And by befriending and helping them she has discovered how to help herself.
I would love to see this made into a movie, it has all the classic Debbie Macomber endearing, heartfelt trademarks. Plus love the cover! Thank you NetGalley for this eARC. I am voluntarily posting an honest review after reading an Advance Reader Copy of this story. #NetGalley #MustLoveFlowers
Heartfelt and so cute, love all the relationships that were connected with Joan and she overcame her loss.
I am a widow and read this book without knowing that this was what it was about.
I saw myself in so much of it.. my husband passed 11 yrs ago. I am still alone but I have my daughter and son and his wife and grandchildren. The feelings the book mentions are all so true. I also went to a grief consulting group and it definitely helped. You realize you’re not alone that others are experiencing the same feelings you have gone through.