Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Starting Now: A Blossom Street Novel (Blossom Street #9) by Debbie Macomber

Libby Morgan is consumed by her job.  She is a lawyer with an unending work ethic.  So confident is she in her abilities and service her law firm that she is certain that she will be made partner.  When her boss calls her into his office, her confidence that she has finally achieved her goal is unshakable.  She is shaken to the core, however, when she is fired instead for her lack of networking ability.  Her hard days and nights at the office have proven to be less valuable than she thought.  The rebuilding of Libby’s life is the central theme in Debbie Macomber’s Starting Now.
Emily has lost touch with all her friends, and though she has saving and severance, she knows that she cannot stay home forever.  She gets to contact with one of her law school friends, Robin, who now works in the prosecutors’ office.  They agree to join a health club together.  Being unemployed has not been good for Libby’s waistline.  Libby also visits a yarn shop in the neighborhood and meets Lydia, the shop owner and her sister, Margaret.  She also meets Casey, Lydia’s daughter, and her friend, Ava.  With Libby’s interest in knitting rekindled for the first time since her mother’s death, she now has ways to fill her time.  She agrees to learn to knit hats for the premature babies in the local hospital as well. 
When she goes to drop off the hats, she meets another woman named Sharon, who asks her if she would be willing to rock the babies in the hospital nursery.  Libby, who has never had children, agrees despite her reservations.  While there, she meets a Phillip Stone, who she nicknames “Heart of Stone” and realizes that he has also been attending her gym. They begin a relationship and try to navigate their relationship, despite their differences.
Ava is having trouble at home and Libby tries to help her as well. When an unexpected complication arises in Ava’s life, Libby’s desire to help others and develop bonds with them is tested.
I have never read any of the other Blossom Street books, though I think I own them all.  I found this book to be an easy read.  Though there were many characters, I had no trouble keeping them all straight.  I probably missed a bit not having read the previous books, but this one can stand alone.
While I enjoyed the book for the most part, it was not one that I will remember for a long time.  While I liked the characters, none of them stood out to me.  Without giving anything away, I will say that there was one plot thread with a very young girl that I found disturbing.  It happens in real life, but I thought that some of the reactions of the characters to the situation did not ring true.  I also got a little bored in some sections where I felt Macomber violated the “show, don’t tell” rule.
I think that fans of the Blossom Street books will probably love this book and enjoy visits with familiar friends.  While I am interested in going back and reading the books that I have missed earlier in the series, I am not in a huge hurry to do so.  An easy and entertaining read.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Regina

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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