Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Book Review: The Book of Silver Linings

By Allyson Bales

Constance Sparks always says yes…when her capricious best friend needs money; when her boss gives her more responsibility without a raise; and when her boyfriend, Hayden, who is very kind but also secretive, asks her to marry him.

While planning their wedding—and struggling with anxiety about the right course for her future—Constance researches the history of her antique engagement ring and unearths the name of a man who might be connected to it, plus his tragic love story. When she finds a book of letters in her library’s old manuscript section written by the long-dead man, Constance is deeply touched by his words and leaves a note for him confessing her uncertainty and doubts. She’s shocked days later to find a response tucked among the pages.

As the notes continue to arrive, Constance finds herself quickly falling in love with a ghost and putting her real-life relationship in jeopardy. Will a bond based on letters impossibly sent from the past derail her future? Or will Constance discover her voice and risk everything for the chance to somehow connect with her true soul mate? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

I read Some of It Was Real last summer and immediately fell in love with Nan Fischer’s writing. It is thoughtful, enthralling, and helped me to reflect on my own life in a very meaningful way.  Not only is her writing deeply touching but Nan is an amazing human.  I reached out via instagram to gush to her about her story and was met with such genuine kindness.  Nan has given me book recommendations and is so approachable, which is not always the case with authors on social media.

After Some of It Was Real, I couldn’t WAIT to get my hands on The Book Of Silver Linings.  It has been one of my most anticipated books of the year!  The story follows Constance, a woman that is always saying yes to everyone no matter the imposition and always putting others first, the ultimate people pleaser.  Constance gets engaged to Hayden, who gives her the most beautiful engagement ring, one that he definitely shouldn’t be able to afford, and Constance finds out has some pretty significant history. She goes on a journey of discovery not just about the background of the ring but also about herself. 

This story is the perfect blend of women’s fiction, historical fiction, and romance with a dash of magic that was incredibly heartwarming and engaging.  I fell in love with Constance and her best friend Mars.  I love that Constance volunteers at an animal shelter and all of the other story lines that emerge and make this such a layered and fun read!  This is a little under 400 pages but I needed to know what happened to Constance and found myself reading late into the night to find out! 

There are beautiful themes of resilience, loving yourself, and believing in yourself, that so many people can relate to.  I have struggled many times in my life with not knowing my own self worth and being afraid to really take a chance and Constance really reflected back to me what a tough process that can be to navigate but also so very rewarding.   I also really loved the exploration of what it means to really know what is your raison d'être.  How many of us lose sight of that and forget what our passions are?  

This story is one that you will love if you’re an animal lover (you HAVE to meet Growler); sweet grandfathers, best friends that are always rooting for you, and you're a kind person that perhaps needs that little push to go for what you want!

“I believe that life, at its essence, is about the people we have touched with acts of service and kindness.”

Thank you Nan, for writing another beautiful story that will mean so much to so many!

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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