Title: A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber
New Beginnings Series Book Two
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 354 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In this powerful and uplifting novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber, 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.
A Girl’s Guide to Moving On is the second installment in Debbie Macomber’s heartwarming New Beginnings series. In this delightful story of friendship, Nichole Patterson and her ex-mother-in-law but best friend, Leanne, unexpectedly find love but both find it difficult to leave the past behind due to their respective ex-husbands’ interference in their lives.
When Leanne learned that her son Jake was cheating on his wife, she knew that, no matter how painful, Nichole needed to know the truth about her husband. Gaining courage from Nichole’s decision to leave Jake, Leanne decides it is time to end her thirty-five year marriage to her philandering husband Sean. Supporting one another through this tumultuous time, Nichole and Leanne leave their old lives behind and start fresh in a new town. While Leanne’s divorce goes through quickly, Jake is stunned by Nichole’s reaction and for the past two years, he has done everything he can to delay their divorce. Finally realizing she is not going to change her mind, Jake signs the divorce papers, but he continues to manipulate Nichole once he learns of her new relationship with blue-collar tow truck owner Rocco Nyquist.
Leanne, Nichole and three year old Owen have settled fairly easily into their lives. Leaving behind their pampered, wealthy lifestyles was fairly smooth and although Leanne has no financial concerns, money is sometimes tight for Nichole since she has been unable to secure a fulltime teaching position. Aided by their rules to help them regain their independence and bolster their self-esteem, both women are quite satisfied with their lives. One of their most important “rules” is giving back to the local community through volunteering and each of them have found their niche in their volunteer positions. Leanne loves teaching English as second language twice a week while Nichole is quite fulfilled by her volunteer position helping underprivileged women prepare for job interviews.
Just after Jake signs the divorce papers, Nichole strikes up an unexpected friendship with Rocco and his teenage daughter Kaylene. Rocco is unlike anyone Nichole has ever known but despite their outward differences, their core beliefs are quite similar. While she is a little unsettled by her attraction to Rocco, Nichole very much enjoys his company and she is more than willing to see where their relationship leads. But trouble arises when Jake feels threatened by their burgeoning romance and he intimidates her into making an unpalatable decision.
Leanne is surprised when her student Nikolai Janchenko expresses an interest in her outside of their ESL classes. Due to her ex-husband’s long-term infidelity, her self-confidence remains low and she is quite flustered by Nikolai’s attention. Their relationship is a bit of a slow burner due to Nicolai’s unexpected jealousy and her ex’s sudden reappearance in her life. Their budding romance is further derailed by a shocking crisis and Leanne’s compassionate response to devastating news.
A Girl’s Guide to Moving On is a captivating novel of healing, friendship and love. The storyline is incredibly moving and Debbie Macomber does a magnificent job keeping the plot fresh and interesting. The characters are well-developed and likable with realistic flaws and true to life issues to resolve. This latest release is a heartfelt and gratifying addition to the New Beginnings series that old and new fans are sure to enjoy.