An unlikely friendship between a septuagenarian and a younger woman becomes a story of broken trust, lost love, and the unexpected blooming of hope against the longest odds.
"You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid?"
Marcie Malone didn't think she was either, but when she drives from Georgia to the southwestern shore of Florida without a plan and wakes up in a stranger's home, she doesn't seem to know anymore. Despondent and heartbroken over an unexpected loss and the man she thought she could count on, Marcie leaves him behind, along with her job and her whole life, and finds she has nowhere to go.
Herman Flint has seen just about everything in his seventy years living in a fading, blue-collar Florida town, but the body collapsed on the beach outside his window is something new. The woman is clearly in some kind of trouble and Flint wants no part of it—he's learned to live on his own just fine, without the hassle of worrying about others. But against his better judgment he takes Marcie in and lets her stay until she's on her feet on the condition she keeps out of his way.
As the unlikely pair slowly copes with the damage life has wrought, Marcie and Flint have to decide whether to face up to the past they’ve each been running from, and find a way to move forward with the people they care about most.
Fox (Heart Conditions) explores an unlikely friendship in this quirky outing. Marcie Malone, 43, is devastated by a miscarriage, though it doesn't seem to faze her husband, Will. On her way to work one day, she decides to head south from Atlanta and ends up in southern Florida. After passing out on a beach (the result of hydrocodone and exhaustion), Marcie wakes up to a crotchety 70-something man named Herman Flint. A lifelong resident, he's quick to point out that sleeping on a beach isn't an intelligent move. After Marcie learns her car—which holds her wallet, keys, and cell phone—has been towed, Herman reluctantly offers Marcie his spare bedroom. The two seem at first to have nothing in common, but family losses have hit them both hard, and they forge an unlikely friendship. As they begin to heal in each other's company, both Marcie and Flint reconnect to parts of their pasts they thought were long since gone—and find the courage to move forward. Fox's sharp storytelling will endear Marcie and Herman to readers, and a solid support cast (especially bar owner Darla) adds some heft. It's a simple story, but the author gets it just right.
THE WAY WE WEREN'T is a touching story. The characters are unique, their relationships are realistic, and their motives are easy to relate to. Women's fiction fans are sure to enjoy this one.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book.