Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: A Girl's Guide to Moving On (New Beginnings #2) by Debbie Macomber

A Girl's Guide to Moving On (New Beginnings #2) by Debbie Macomber
Published February 23rd 2016 by Ballantine Books
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this powerful and uplifting novel, 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.

An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.

Praise for A Girl’s Guide to Moving On

“Debbie Macomber’s finest novel. Betrayal and sorrow can happen in any stage of life and, in this wonderful story, her very nimble hands weave a spectacular kaleidoscope of courage, struggles, and finally joyous redemption and reinvention. Macomber totally understands the human heart. I absolutely loved it!”—Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Timesbestselling author of All the Single Ladies

“Whispers a message of love, hope, and, yes, reinvention to every woman who has ever wondered ‘Is that all there is?’ I predict every diehard Macomber fan—as well as legions of readers new to the Macomber magic—will be cheering for Leanne and Nichole, and clamoring for more, more, more.”—Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Town, Ladies’ Night, and Summer Rental

“Macomber is a master at pulling heartstrings, and readers will delight in this heartwarming story of friendship, love, and second chances. Leanne, Nichole, Rocco, and Nikolai will renew your faith in love and hope. The perfect read curled up in front of the fire or on a beach, it’s as satisfying as a slice of freshly baked bread—wholesome, pleasantly filling, and delicious.”—Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of Flight Patterns

“Beloved author Debbie Macomber reaches new heights in this wise and beautiful novel. It’s the kind of reading experience that comes along only rarely, bearing the hallmarks of a classic. The timeless wisdom in these pages will stay with you long after the book is closed.”—Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Starlight on Willow Lake

“Debbie dazzles! A wonderful story of friendship, forgiveness and the power of love. I devoured every page!”—Susan Mallery, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Friends We Keep.
My Thoughts
I definitely enjoyed this story. It did have a few bumps in the road but overall okay.

In A Girl’s Guide to Moving On, Nichole finds an unlikely ally in her mother-in-law when she discovers her husband has been cheating on her. Both Leanne and Nichole are devastated to have to make a choice to move on from their marriages after both experiencing the heartbreak of unfaithful husbands. As these two women begin to build a new life for themselves, they rely on each other for comfort and advice, thus coming up with a few guidelines to moving on.

Their first rule to ease the pain is to distract themselves by giving to others. When Nichole volunteers at a clothing store that helps women dress for success as they are striving for a better life, she meets Rocco and they soon become fast friends. Leanne decides to volunteer as an English teacher for adults learning it as a second language. That is where she meets Nikolai, and they immediately begin to develop a tender relationship.

Overall, I really enjoyed Nichole’s story. She was easy to relate to and her struggles and strength were applause-worthy in my book. I liked the relationship she built with Rocco because they both seemed like two sensible people that developed a believable love and romance for each other, all the while putting their own kids first.

I struggled a bit with Leanne’s story only because she put up with her husband’s cheating ways for decades and then suddenly decided to abandon the relationship. If she had chosen to stay with him for so long knowing his unfaithful ways, I would have liked to see her be more than a doormat by either trying to fix her marriage or at minimum confronting her husband. I wasn’t too keen on her relationship with Nikolai at all. He seemed so jealous and unreasonable and I could never stand to be with such a hot head of a man. I feel she went from one bad relationship to another.

If I followed the book closely enough, I only discovered two rules to this Guide to Moving On (1) ease the pain with distraction and (2) make new friends. There could have been more substance to this guide, such as (3) learn to love yourself before falling in love with someone else, (4) strive for a better relationship than your first, and (5) set yourself up for independence.

Overall, Debbie Macomber is an accomplished storyteller. I’ve enjoyed enough of her novels to know that she has a knack for capturing the hearts of her readers. Although A Girl’s Guide to Movie On is not at the top of my list of Macomber’s best, it’s definitely not my last. I look forward to finding another gem by this author.
3 Suns

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