Published by Ballantine Books on February 23rd 2016
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Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A Girls Guide to Moving On was a delightful novel. I was both intrigued and skeptical when I read the premise of the book. A Mother in Law (Leanne) and her daughter in Law (Nichole) leave their husbands around the same time and move in across the hall from each other and develop a list, a guide if you will for moving on. I thought “really?” Will this story work? Yes, it did. It worked very well. Both women had unfaithful husbands. Leanne turned a blind eye for 30 years to her husband’s many affairs but finally had enough when her son, and Nichole’s husband, got his mistress pregnant. Both women filed for divorce and made attempts to start over.
Debbie Macomber did a good job creating strong, independent women who cared about each other and supported each other. I loved how the character of Leanne was close to her daughter in law and was a strong support system for her. She didn’t pick sides in her son’s and Nichole’s divorce.
Nichole was a very likable character who meets Rocco after experiencing car trouble. Where her ex-husband was polished, Rocco was a little rough around the edges but had a heart of gold. I love how their story progressed and how both characters interacted with each other and their children. Rocco is like an onion and as he gets closer to Nichole we see his layers peeled away to the kindhearted man underneath.
Leanne begins her new life by teaching English as a second language. There she meets Nikolai, a bread maker. Their relationship begins slow and rocky and is put to the test when Leanne’s ex-husband asks for help. I wasn’t as into Leanne’s story as I was in Nichole’s story line.
I did like how both romances progressed at a nice pace and nothing felt rushed. The couples do not rush into bed, as it often happens in romance novels. I like that Debbie Macomber does romance without graphic sex scenes. Her romances are sweet and very readable. Perfect for those who don’t like gratuitous sex in their books. I personally don’t care either way, but I think Macomber appeals to a wider reader base by leaving out the sex. My only complaint about the book is that even the not so likable characters (the cheating husbands) get a little redemption at the end. We don’t all get happy endings in life but this isn’t life. It’s a book and it’s a good one.
I appreciated the epilogue. This was a nice conclusion to the book. My chief complaint with Romance books, is that we read the entire book to have the characters fall in love, only to have the book end abruptly. It was nice to see what happened down the line. I thought this was a great way to end the book.