The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go: A Review

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1. Get through to your daughter. 2. Buy more cheese. 3. Don’t forget to call your mother.

Grilled G’s Gourmet Food Truck is where chef, owner, obsessive list-maker, and recent widow Gina Zoberski finds the order and comfort she needs to struggle through each day, especially when confronted with her critical mother Lorraine and sullen daughter May.

Image-conscious Lorraine always knows best and expects her family to live up to her high expectations, no matter what. May just wants to be left alone to mourn her father in her own way. Gina aims to please, but finds that her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys both her mother and her daughter, no matter how hard she tries.

But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret kept hidden for forty years. In the face of her mother’s failing health and her daughter’s rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go.

I won this early copy in a Goodreads Giveaway hosted by publisher Gallery Books.  This is my honest review!

This was my first time reading author Amy Reichert.  I was familiar with her previous works.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake/ The Simplicity of Cider/ Luck, Love & Lemon Pie

I do not normally choose contemporary women’s fiction as a must read which is why I have yet to read any of the above titles.  However, The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go  seemed like a good one to try and win.  I was happy to learn that I was a winner!  This novel was a wonderful read in between many heavier reads.  While the premise deals with widowhood, a stroke and family secrets heavy it was still a welcome change of pace.  It was an incredibly fast read and so enjoyable.

I have always liked plots centered around family secrets.  I am always fascinated by the family dynamics depicted.  It is always intriguing to ‘witness’ the coping skills and method in which individuals handle the challenges in their lives. While it is hard to believe that a plot which includes a huge, life-changing family secret, a stroke and widowhood can still be positive, uplifting and hopeful…it really is.  Do not get me wrong.  I still had moments of sadness.  Some tears did fog up my glasses while I was reading late at night.  I told my husband that he is not allowed to leave me.  The only options are that I go first or we go together simultaneously.

The story is very predictable but that is always expected with women’s fiction.  The interesting and relateable story and characters with an encouraging and hopeful tone are the definition of women’s fiction.  As I went into the story knowing that the outcome of the story would be predictable, I was not setting myself up for disappointment.  I was still able to thoroughly enjoy the novel.  I connected immediately with the characters.  I was able to identify and see what would  also be my reactions to the situations.  I become ravenous with the descriptions of Gina’s grilled cheese creations.  I really want to try some of the creations because they just sound amazing.

All in all.  I really enjoyed this one.  I will be reading her previous novels and I will keep an eye out for the new.  Sometimes those feel-good stories with delicious grilled cheese sandwiches mixed in are just what you need!

The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go will be released on May 15th.  

 

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