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That Book I Wrote About Me: A Novel (Lakeview Valley 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 234 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I can't quite decide which side character I love more, Fiona's stepdaughter, Karen who is uncompromisingly herself and feels that odd mixture of mature and immature that makes her feel so perfectly her age, or Fiona's agent, who doesn't hesitate to smack her into shape. While the story is in some ways about Fiona's romantic relationships with the men in her life, it's really the female friendships and the "family you choose" vs. "the family you were born into" themes that make this book stand out. While the voice sometimes reminds me of my favorite chick lit books with its quick wit and small town antics, instead of answering the question, "How does one find a man?" this one answers the question, "What is a family?" which makes it a really special find in my book.
Fiona has been through a lot but she always rises above. It may not be without some pushing and shoving but nothing keeps Fiona down long. She’s strong, but not so much in your face about it. She makes mistakes. Drunken, hilariously awkward mistakes…..but her oopsies make her all the more lovable since she really means no harm in her blunders. She’s real and honest and raw. Unlike her mother and the stereotypical small town woman, Fiona lets the world see who she really is. She doesn’t hide the proverbial crazy.
My favorite thing about Fiona is her golden heart. Those she loves, she loves hard. Ex-husbands, ex-step daughters….everyone. She genuinely gives a crap about their lives. Even when, by all rights she could walk away completely. She’s that ex that becomes the friend that made you fall in love with her to begin with.
There is a part of the book where Fiona tapes up a picture of her first ex that sticks in my mind. First loves are a whirlwind of emotion that lingers no matter how things end. Probably more so when there’s no real closure. Watching Fiona comb through her past and work through old hurts really resonated with me. We’ve all thought “What if”. We’ve all sifted through our past with plenty of cringes and a boat load of sighs. Experiencing those alongside Fiona was therapeutic in a way books like this usually aren’t. I think it was the authenticity of Fiona’s character. It was the authenticity of her resentment and bitterness. It was the healing and forgiving of everyone…..especially herself. It takes a lot of bravery to analyze yourself and admit that you messed up. Especially when your mistakes cause other people more pain than you initially thought it would and you find yourself face to face with the consequences others are facing from your blunder. Fiona faces this with as much grace as a hang over will allow but she means what she says and that right there is enough to make you love her. Apologies are just words unless you can really see that the person who messed up is filled with regret and remorse.
To see such strong work from a new author is exciting to say the least.