Memories of May – Book review

Author : Juliet Madison

Publisher : Escape Publishing

Pub Date : 05 May 2017

Source : I received this eARC  from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Book Blurb

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, but in Tarrin’s Bay, she’s about to find that love is stronger than time…

How gorgeous is this cover!! 

By day, single mother Olivia Chevalier runs the family’s bookstore and raises her nine-year-old daughter. By night, she escapes into a world of fiction where there is excitement, romance, and happy endings.
Both of her roles are endlessly rewarding, but Olivia’s life has not been without challenges, hard work, and disappointment. So when enigmatic travel writer Joel Foster walks into her bookstore – and her life – with his mantras of trying new things and taking risks, Olivia knows that nothing will change. But when a family dilemma surfaces, Olivia is compelled to enroll in Joel’s writing course to tell the story of her grandmother’s life. With each new day and each new page, Olivia discovers secrets about her family and truths about herself, and finds herself yearning to rewrite the story she has planned and seek a life as intriguing as fiction.

Olivia Chevalier’s close circle is a really small circle that includes her daughter, her mother and grandmother. She has very few friends, a bookstore -passed on from the family – to run and a nine year old daughter to tend to. The last few years of her life is nothing but busy and her life is little (make it big) short of excitement or adventurous. Her 90-year old grandmother, Mrs.May’s health takes a turn and she is forced to moved to a semi-dependent nursing home to spend the last few moths of her life. Olivia is quite attached to her grandmother, as she is sort of an inspiration to her, running the book store for three generations now. Joel Foster, a successful author who has written his memoir of surviving the wilderness -One more Breath, is in Tarrin’s Bay offering a short writing course that will help wannabe-authors in fulfilling their dream book. A chance encounter with Olivia, and Joel thinks she is “absolutely adorable, but so.. plain”.

With her grandmother’s health deteriorating, Olivia decides to write a book on her and in a spur-of-the-moment decision, enrolls in Joel’s class. Joel urges his students to think differently and and requests Olivia to start doing everyday mundane things in a different way, beginning with her food choices. As she tries to get her grandmother talk about her early life, she learns that Mrs.May had a secret admirer before her grandfather and is intrigued by the tales she shares. William, the not-so secret admirer, is sort of a dreamer, who wants to have exciting adventures and wishes to go beyond Tarrin’s Bay. The book moves to how Mrs.May became Mrs.Chevalier and book-worthy moments that Joel forces Olivia into.

Like a bucket list, but a book-worthy moments list. If you were writing your memoir, what things could you say that you’d done?

This is such a sweet book and I loved every page of it. The responsibilities of being a single parent and being a great one at that, deprives Olivia of all her 20’s and she is now in her 30’s with nothing exciting to share to her future grand kids. To rectify this, she agrees on Joel’s challenges and goes on a motorbike, a plane, paragliding and camping.

Her fear and excitement in doing things she normally doesn’t do is catchy and makes one be engrossed , thinking what would be Joel’s next challenge to her.

The very first lines of the book had me hooked.

If Olivia Chevalier’s head hadn’t been stuck in a book, she would….

I loved how Joel and Olivia start off – not insta-love, but being friends, teasing each other, flirting, getting to know each other , she through his book and he through observing her in class and their exclusive Friday lunch dates. Their texting gave me a smile, and nowhere in the book did i feel “Eww” it was cute and sweet all the way till the end.

A different closeness.. A mutual understanding and respect. He was looking for home, she’d been hidden away at home for too long. And somewhere in the middle, they had crossed paths, or collided, more like it

The love between William and May was tender and  Mrs.May remembers him through his incredibly beautiful letters and the books she read, which pushes her to keep a bookstore. Had the book ended with finding William, it would have been too much cliche. But it didn’t and this what makes me like it even more.

I think I could go on and on.. but I guess you get my point. Go Read this book.Now!

My rating would be 5/5, because I was never bored and I did not regret choosing this book. If anything, it brought back sweet memories of my own grandmother, who loved to talk non-stop about her dead husband, like a love-sick teenager.

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3 thoughts on “Memories of May – Book review

  1. Hi there! I just came across this post of yours and your blog in general and I couldn’t help but comment and tell you how much I love this! Keep up the great work, I am going to follow you so I can keep up with all your new posts!

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