- Title: The Ones Who Matter Most
- Author: Rachael Herron
- Genre: Women’s Fiction
- Pages: 432
- Published: April 2016 – NAL
- Source: Publisher
Description: After her husband dies unexpectedly, Abby Roberts comes across something startling: wedding photographs of him with another woman, along with pictures of a baby boy. Shocked, Abby does something utterly impulsive: She embarks on a journey to discover the family her husband apparently left behind.
Money has always been tight for single mom Fern Reyes, and never tighter than now. But this month, in place of a child-support check, her ex’s pretty, privileged wife appears on her doorstep with far too many questions. Unfortunately, her young son is so taken with Abby that Fern doesn’t have the heart to send her away.
What begins as one woman’s search for truth becomes a deep bond forged between the unlikeliest of people, and the discovery that there are many ways to make a family—as long as you take care…
CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED (publisher)
My take: I was immediately drawn into this story of two women trying to hold their heads above water. One, Abby, is newly widowed and finds out her husband was hiding another life from her. The other, Fern, drives a city bus to support her young son, ex father-in-law, and an elderly woman who lives with them. She’s not even close to making ends meet so when her monthly check from her ex doesn’t arrive she doesn’t know what she’ll do. When Abby finds out about Fern she feels compelled to get to know her.
Could these two even be in the same room together – much less, become friends? And what happens when they try? I loved Rachael Herron’s story. Even though the two main characters could be annoying at times I felt enormous sympathy for each woman. In other words, they were very human. Fern’s eleven-year-old son Matias was so endearing and quite astute in figuring out the adults in his life. The other characters (Fern’s brother, boyfriend, father-in-law and Elva) gave depth to the novel.
I loved that Abby was a botanist who carried different flowers, etc in her pocket to get various results, feelings. If only she could figure out what to carry to get the happiness she craved. If only she believed she deserved it. Fern was a tough nut – she had to be. She would protect her loved ones at all costs and she didn’t want Abby coming in and stealing her family. But one day things changed and Fern was forced to reconsider everything.
I think fans of women’s fiction, stories about what makes a family, and Rachael Herron will enjoy this novel as much as I did.