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9 / 30 books. 30% done!

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16 / 51 states. 31% done!

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13 / 50 books. 26% done!

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37 / 50 books. 74% done!

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30 / 52 books. 58% done!

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5 / 25 books. 20% done!

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22 / 26.2 miles. 84% done!

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19 / 100 books. 19% done!

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45 / 104 books. 43% done!

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36 / 52 books. 69% done!

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40 / 165 books. 24% done!
Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Backlist Hannah Book Just Okay

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Exhausted from years of trying to have a baby with nothing but heartbreak to show for it, Angie Malone has had enough.  Enough of the miscarriages, enough of the failed adoptions, enough of the marriage that has crumbled under the strain.  With divorce on the horizon, she moves back to her tiny seaside hometown of West End, Washington.  Between all the drama her big, loud Italian clan cooks up and her new task of saving the family's struggling Italian restaurant, Angie should have plenty to focus on besides her crushed dreams.

When Lauren Ribido walks into Angie's life, everything changes.  With her world-weary countenance and ill-fitting Salvation Army wardrobe, it's clear the 17-year-old is in need of some TLC.  Especially when her alcoholic mother disappears, leaving Lauren to fend for herself.  As Angie pours all the love she's been storing up for her own child into this abandoned young woman, she cautions herself against growing too attached.  When Lauren announces that she's pregnant, Angie can't help the hope that flutters in her heart.  She knows better than to play the "What if" game, but what if Lauren can provide the one thing Angie wants most in the world?  How far will Angie go to make that happen?  And what of the teenaged mother?  What does she want?  If their desires conflict, what does that mean for their newly-discovered closeness?  What will happen as the two frightened women try to navigate their unknown futures?

I'm a big fan of Kristin Hannah's recent blockbuster novels, The Nightingale and The Great Alone.  While waiting for her to produce another stunning masterpiece, I've been making my way through her backlist.  I've enjoyed some of these older novels—others, not so much.  The Things We Do For Love (2004) falls somewhere in the middle.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either.  Its premise intrigued me and I was definitely interested to see where the story would go.  Unfortunately, although I sympathized with Angie, I didn't really like her.  To me, she seemed self-centered, fickle, and short-sighted.  This made it tough for me to side with her, while I had no problem rooting for Lauren.  This, plus the fact that The Things We Do For Love seemed to ramble on longer than necessary, made the novel less enjoyable than it could have been.  In the end, then, I feel a bit ambivalent about this one.  Like I said before, I didn't love it, didn't hate it.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany and How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder expletives) and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of The Things We Do For Love at Target with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Swimming in a Sea of Stars by Julie Wright

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myer



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