I am one of those people who reads only one book at a time. I find that if I switch off that one book will get lost somewhere along the line. I am currently reading four books. This is not good. I think that it indicates that I am not sold on any of them but that I might keep trying. They may be destined to the “never to be read” pile.
Into this book fiasco, enters Memorial Day weekend. There is more time to read but what to read? The answer is to pick up yet another book. No, that should not be the correct answer but it is the route that I took. BUT I did finish the book that I picked up. And before I forget, I was given an advanced reader copy of the book with the hopes that I would read and review the book. I hate to admit it but it is a bit of a crapshoot hoping that I will read and review (especially in a timely fashion) a book. I am like the preverbal kid in the candy shop with books.
The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go did catch and keep my attention. The story centers on three generations of women. The grandmother, Lorraine Price, is the model society woman. She has strict standards and expects her daughters to meet those standards. When her daughter, Gina, often falls short, Lorraine does not hesitate to let her know. And Lorraine is picky. She still remembers that Gina brought the wrong flowers to her once. Tisk Tisk.
Most of the story is told by Gina Zoberski. Gina is a young widow. Her beloved husband, Drew died two years before the story begins and Gina is floundering. She compulsively makes lists to try and keep her head above water. She is the owner of Grilled G’s a gourmet grilled cheese food truck.
Gina has a daughter, May. Gina has no idea what she is doing with May. May and Drew were very close and Gina frequently feels that May has turned into a different person since Drew’s death. Gina doesn’t know how to reach her. From May’s perspective, Gina doesn’t seem to care. Gina doesn’t talk about Drew to May and therefore May thinks Gina wants to forget about him. Both are suffering but don’t know how to reach each other.
After sending out an email to her daughters telling them why their Chrismas gifts to her fell short of the mark, Lorraine suffers a massive stroke. The stroke causes Lorraine to re-think her decision to not tell her daughters (Gina and her sister Vicky) a secret that she has kept from them. This is not a “where I hid my ring” secret but a secret that truly affects their lives. In going through her mother’s paperwork, Gina stumbles upon her birth certificate and has questions. Since Lorraine cannot speak because of the stroke, Gina turns to Roza, her old nanny and her mother’s closest friend. Roza claims no knowledge of the birth certificate discrepancy but Gina doesn’t believe her.
While I would categorize this as a family saga, it isn’t heavy as many in that classification tend to be. This is a story that leaves some questions but resolves the most important issues. It was a pleasant read and the story moved along quickly. The biggest surprise to me is that the story takes place in Milwaukee. I don’t know if I have read another book that takes place in Milwaukee. Since I live in that area, it was fun.
If you are looking for a light summer read, I think you might enjoy this story. There is enough suspense and story to keep you reading.
Thanks for reading!