Must Love Flowers by Debbie Macomber
Expected pub. date: July 11, 2023 – Ballantine
Digital galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley
Joan Sample is not living the life she expected. Now a widow and an empty-nester, she has become by her own admission something of a recluse. But after another birthday spent alone, she is finally inclined to listen to her sister, who has been begging Joan to reengage with the world. With Emmie’s support, Joan gathers the courage to take some long-awaited steps: hiring someone to tame her overgrown garden, joining a grief support group, and even renting out a room to a local college student. Before long Joan is starting to feel a little like herself again.
Across town, Maggie Herbert works mornings as a barista, tending to impatient customers before rushing to afternoon nursing classes. She lives with her alcoholic father, ducking his temperamental outbursts and struggling to pay the household bills. But her circumstances brighten when she finds a room for rent in Joan’s home. In the unexpected warmth of her new situation, Maggie finds a glimmer of hope for a better life. But will Maggie’s budding attraction to one of her favorite customers ruin the harmony she’s only recently found with Joan? Meanwhile, what is Joan to make of the mysterious landscaper who’s been revitalizing her garden—a man who seems to harbor a past loss of his own?
As Maggie and Joan confront difficult life choices, they draw strength from this new friendship in surprising ways—discovering in the process that “found family” is often the very best kind. (publisher)
I’m a fan of Debbie Macomber and was delighted to read her new book. The cover is so inviting and I like the title. Both drew me to the novel.
This is the story of Joan, a 50-something widow of four years, and Maggie, a young nursing student whose mother died in recent years. Their paths bring them together and they form an unexpected bond that could be life changing. Grief played a big part in the novel and Macomber brought her characters through the journey via a support group and in other ways. Loss of spouse, parent, and children are addressed which will make the novel relatable to many readers. An epilogue neatly wrapped the various storylines.
Recommended to fans of Debbie Macomber and women’s fiction.