Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Book Review: A Year of Mr. Maybes

By Sara Steven

Val didn’t expect to be starting again in her seventies, but when life gives her lemons, Val is determined to make lemonade.

Settled into her new home – a picture-perfect fisherman’s cottage in the small Cornish seaside town of Lowenstowe – Val is ready to start a new chapter. And with her son due to get married next Christmas, there’s also the little job of finding herself a plus-one to help her face her ex-husband and his new girlfriend.

With the support of her neighbour Connie, and after decades of married life, Val takes the plunge back into the world of dating with trepidation and excitement. But can she remember how the single life works, let alone what her type is? There seem to be plenty of Mr Maybes, but no sign of Mr Right.

As the year passes, and as friendships and community life flourish, Val begins to blossom. And as Christmas approach, she might just decide she doesn’t need that plus-one after all - although never say never... (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon)

I always appreciate a good book that allows women to continue to live their lives beyond a certain age when we’re often told we’re “past it.” Past the romance. Past the intrigue. Past the youthful zest. For Val, she’s starting over in her seventies, but in many ways, it’s as if her life is truly just beginning.

After experiencing a life-altering, world shattering moment, she decides to move to a new town, within a new neighborhood, where she has the opportunity to meet new friends. I love how Judy Leigh portrays that kind of community and bonding between Val and her neighbors, because while trying to move on and move forward, I could tell just how much Val needed that support, and how much her new friends needed her support, too. It’s the kind of friendship we can only hope for in our golden years, but along with that are independent relationships–the couple who lives next door to Val, the single woman who lives across the street from her, and the never-home fisherman who Val often tries to engage with, but he’s never available. 

With the help of her new friends, Val sets out to ensure that she won’t show up alone to her son’s wedding. She notes how in wedding photos, it wouldn’t seem balanced or fair to see her ex-husband and his new girlfriend on one side of their son, yet she’d be all alone on the other side of him. Having gone through a divorce myself, I could relate and identify with those emotions. It’s a tough road to navigate until finding that “new normal,” and Val wonders if it might be time to embark on a new adventure: finding a new man to go with that “new normal.”

Following Val's humorous dating experiences was a lot of fun. Each division for each “Mr. Maybe” is designated as “Mr. February, or Mr. March,” etc. It seems each month brings along a new prospect–although maybe not. Through it all, there were some stand-outs that she really couldn’t stop thinking about, only adding to the intrigue as the months went by. I thought it was great that Val was given the liberty to seek out new relationships, platonic or otherwise, proving that it really doesn’t matter how old you are–it’s the spirit inside of you that dictates how you choose to live your life.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Judy Leigh is the bestselling author of Five French Hens, A Grand Old Time and The Age of Misadventure and the doyenne of the ‘it’s never too late’ genre of women’s fiction. She has lived all over the UK from Liverpool to Cornwall, but currently resides in Somerset.

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1 comment:

Judy Leigh said...

Thanks for such a lovely review. Sending warm wishes. Judy