A mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over. Leaning on each other, Nichole and Leanne discover that their inner strength and capacity for love are greater than they ever imagined.
When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.
Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.
Debbie Macomber is well-known for her ability to take the most painful event that could affect a woman’s life and bring it to life in written form. In A Girl’s Guide to Moving On, she takes on the pain of moving on from a marriage when the spouse is unfaithful. Once again, she does a masterful job.
I don’t cry over books very often, but I did with this one. I could feel the pain Nichole is going through as she decides leaving her husband is in her and their son’s best interest. The pain of her husband battling to get her back even though he continues cheating the entire time. Unfortunately, Jake learned it at the feet of his father growing up. Which brings us to Leanne’s story. She knew her husband had women on the side, but elected to turn a blind eye. Their life was comfortable and she had a young son to raise. She believed in her marriage vows. Yet, when Nichole walked away from Jake and said, “It’s over,” Leanne decided to finally stand up and do the same thing.
The women were close and elected to live near each other. Together, they faced the challenges of moving on and came up with a list of rules they should follow as they did so. Each rule was designed to help them put the past behind them and look into the future. They could definitely be applied to any woman going through a similar situation in the real world. One such rule was “Let go in order to receive.” As they let go of the past, new men stepped in to their lives. However, were they truly ready to leave the past behind, and was the past willing to let go?
All in all, I enjoyed this book. My biggest problem with it was the prologue. Over and over in writing groups, writers talk about the pitfalls of prologues. Debbie Macomber used this one to give us a fast look at both the marriages and divorces so she could get to where she actually wanted the story to start, with the two women out on their own and trying to move on. In the writing world, we call that an ‘info dumb.’ Basically, you get a lot of information dumped on you so the author can move on. The other thing that made me stumble now and then was the moving back and forth between the viewpoints. Each one was written in first person, but they alternated between if we were following Nichole’s story or Leanne’s. I periodically found myself confused since each character interacted with the other on a regular basis. I’d end up flipping back to the beginning of the chapter to see who’s viewpoint I was actually reading. Other than that, I quite enjoyed the book.
While I did enjoy it, I did enjoy some of her other series better. Fans of Debbie Macomber will enjoy this book and can draw their own conclusions. I am sure she will continue to be the queen of ‘chick lit’ for a long time.