I had a feeling I was going to love this book based on the opening line of Chapter One:
Gerry Williams's funeral was a shit show.
It only got better from there as we found out why. This book is exactly what I want in a family story. Characters who appear to be just normal (okay, subjective as they have to make the plot interesting) small town folks with a secret that effects them in differing ways. There were family spats, angst over futures, and lots of camaraderie (particularly around the matriarch Ellen). The story has many laugh out loud moments, but it's coupled with lots of poignant ones as well. I will say that if there is not a family tree included in the finished copy (I had the privilege of reading it early), you may want to quickly jot one down. Because of the circumstances, pretty much all of the characters are introduced at once. It gets much easier as the book progresses, since they all have their particular voice and style, but it did take me a while to keep everyone straight. I also wish the chapters had been shorter, but that's just a me thing since I don't like to stop reading in the middle of one. Despite these qualms, I rated this book 5 stars, I couldn't get enough of this family and their week spent together (with a funeral at one end, and a wedding at the other). This had one of the sweetest endings I've read in a long time, I absolutely loooooved it!
This book will make you smile, make you swoon at the end, and mostly make you root for this family to thrive and grow, as well as help each other along the way. I can't wait to see what this debut author comes up with next.