Monday, October 24, 2016

The Survivor's Guide to Family Happiness by Maddie Dawson

What They Say.....Three women, three lives, and one chance to become a family…whether they want to or not.

Newly orphaned, recently divorced, and semiadrift, Nina Popkin is on a search for her birth mother. She’s spent her life looking into strangers’ faces, fantasizing they’re related to her, and now, at thirty-five, she’s ready for answers.

Meanwhile, the last thing Lindy McIntyre wants is someone like Nina bursting into her life, announcing that they’re sisters and campaigning to track down their mother. She’s too busy with her successful salon, three children, beautiful home, and…oh yes, some pesky little anxiety attacks.

But Nina is determined to reassemble her birth family. Her search turns up Phoebe Mullen, a guarded, hard-talking woman convinced she has nothing to offer. Gradually sharing stories and secrets, the three women make for a messy, unpredictable family that looks nothing like Nina pictured…but may be exactly what she needs. Nina’s moving, ridiculous, tragic, and transcendent journey becomes a love story proving that real family has nothing to do with DNA.

What I Say.....Maddie Dawson's The Opposite of Maybe was one of the very first ARC's I ever received as a book blogger.  I had never heard of her before, and probably never would have read her if I hadn't gotten a copy of her book to review.

I loved The Opposite of Maybe, so when I saw that she had a new book out, I requested it, but in kind of a reluctant way.  I wasn't sure that it would match up to her first.  But I'm super happy to say the this book was even better than her last.  

Nina is a middle aged flounderer - not sure if that's a real word, but she is definitely floundering.   After her adoptive mother dies, she decides to pursue finding her biological mother.  This decision impacts other people's lives in ways that they didn't ask for.

Nina meets her biological sister, Lindy, who is living an upwardly mobile, OCD, insecure life.  She didn't ask for, and doesn't really want a new sister, who comes complete with her own insecurities and a determination to hunt down a mother that Lindy doesn't care to know.

As they track down Phoebe, who didn't want to be found, they begin to build their own bonds as sisters and friends.  

The thing I love about her books is that the people in them are so real, they aren't cardboard cutouts, and there aren't easy endings.  The human factor is so present, which makes the story seem so real.  

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