Romance, humor, family drama, with a touch of Buddhism. Sound interesting?
When approaching life's problems, Sophie sees in black and white. That is, when they're someone else's problems. So when it comes to her sister, Sophie is sure she has all the answers, and offers them without hesitation. If only her sister would listen.
Then, through a series of chance encounters, she meets Sam, who is witty, kind, and downright unflappable. Sophie has the overwhelming sense that she's known him before, and as a relationship builds between them, odd visions invade her mind. Though she tries to dismiss them, their persistence will not allow it.
As someone who is quick to judge others, she is intrigued by Sam's ability to accept people as they are. She begins to see him as a role model, but try as she may, his accepting nature is difficult to emulate.
Will Sophie ever be able to put her hasty judgments aside and realize not every problem has a simple solution?
Rating: 4 stars ****
This book was simplistically great. One of the things I loved about it was how it flowed. There were funny moments, sweet moments and gracious moments which allowed me as the reader to feel connected with the storyline and characters the entire book.
Shelly as an author, I believe, has a skill that allows the reader to constantly connect and stay connected as she paints a vivid picture.
My favorite character was Christian, Evie’s husband and friend. His inner conflict is what drew me to him and kept my rapt attention, although Sophie hated his guts and had no kind words for him throughout the story.
What I love is that we see so many different personalities and beliefs mixed throughout the story and its never changing. Everyone stayed true to their place, their beliefs and their core personality, although we saw major change in Sophie as she found love within another and allowed herself to really feel loved. We watched as she finally accepted one can have flaws without judging them, but accepting them.
This was a great read.
Sophie wandered into the kitchen where Christian was standing, clearly tortured in his own home.
“What’s up?” Sophie asked, slapping him on the back.
She did sort of feel sorry for the guy, pitiful thing that he was, but she often wondered if much of his manner was for show. She supposed only Evie knew for sure, and maybe his mother as well. Christian had conventional good looks—thick, wavy brown hair, nice skin. In Sophie’s opinion, he had no personality whatsoever. Evie must have seen something in him that Sophie didn’t. He never drank, which was probably a good thing due to whatever mood issues he had. But at the same time, Sophie thought he could use something to loosen him up.
“So whatcha been up to, Christian?”
“Not much,” he answered. “Been helping Mom around the house, doing some yard work.”
“Really?” How nice. You can help your mom with yard work, but you can’t help your wife with your own damn house! Making an effort to have a positive conversation with him wasn’t going to happen here. Now she was just pissed off. “Well, I gotta get this drink over to Edward.”
As she passed her mother, they exchanged meaningful glances. Abby approached her son-in-law to attempt her turn at friendly dialogue. Maybe she would have better luck than Sophie.
Later that evening, Sophie sat with Lisa, her friend and fellow teacher, as she picked at a bowl of Chex Mix.
“Come on. It’ll be fun,” Lisa persuaded. “I’ve been married five years, and I still get out more than you do.”
“So what? Why is it so important that I get out more?”
“Well. . . .” Lisa hemmed and hawed. “Jerry has a friend I want you to meet.”
Sophie ended her search for melba toast in the Chex Mix and gave Lisa an annoyed sigh.
“Just agree to meet him,” Lisa added. “He’s a cool guy.”
“I’ll go, but only if you promise not to fix me up,” Sophie insisted. What was it about married people and their deep-seated desire to pair up their single friends?
“You haven’t dated anyone for at least six months,” Lisa pointed out, as if it were some atrocity.
“Lisa, I’m tired. I think you’ve forgotten what it’s like, and the last thing I want to do is meet some guy in a bar.”
“Oh, give me a break! You’re not going to be meeting some guy in a bar. It will be someone that Jerry and I know, and it will be at Murphy’s. Remember Murphy’s?” Lisa jibed, poking her in the ribs. “We used to go there all the time when we were in college.”
“Ughhh,” Sophie groaned. “No set ups. It has to be casual.”
“They’ve got Karaoke now,” Lisa said in a sing-song voice.
“Is that supposed to entice me, or make me run away screaming?”
“Okay, no set ups. Some others from work will be there too, so it will be very casual.”
Sophie sipped her drink and watched Evie approach Christian across the room. He looked nauseated, stressed and self-conscious. Evelyn reached up and lovingly straightened his collar as if he were a little boy, and then said something that seemed to put him at ease. He grinned stiffly and put his arms around her.
Sophie was fascinated by their dynamic, wanting to be a fly on the wall to their conversation. Anything to understand why her sister stayed in this relationship.
Evie cocked her head and gazed up into Christian’s face, asking him something. His smile disappeared, and so did he as he retreated to the bedroom. Evie nervously skimmed the room and when her gaze met Sophie’s, Sophie averted her eyes, pretending to be ignorant of the exchange.
Christian wasn’t seen for the rest of the evening.