Review: 'A Girl's Guide to Moving On' by Debbie Macomber (2016)
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.
I love receiving book packages in the post. It’s one of those things in life that always manages to make me smile, no matter what, and it’s really exciting to open the envelope and see which book you’ve been sent to review (book-nerd alert!). A few weeks ago I received Debbie Macomber’s ‘A Girl’s Guide to Moving On’ in the post and the colourful book cover immediately caught my attention. I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing some of Debbie’s other novels in the past, such as ‘Starry Night’ (click here to read my review) and ‘Mr. Miracle’ (click here to read my review). I really liked the sound of ‘A Girl’s Guide to Moving On’ and couldn’t wait to give another one of Debbie’s novels a go!
There is one thing Nichole and her mother-in-law Leanne have in common: they both have a husband that is cheating on them. Nichole is determined to divorce her husband Jake, and Leanne quickly follows her example, leaving Sean after 35 years of marriage. To help each other deal with things, the two women come up with a list of things to stick to, to help them move on. When Nichole meets single father Rocco, she can hardly ignore the sparks between them. But is Rocco, with his dark past, really the right person to get involved with? At the same time Leanne also finds herself with an admirer from an unexpectant corner, namely in the form of one of her students from her English language class, a Ukranian baker named Nikolai. Are Leanne and Nichole both ready to start afresh, or is moving on from marriage not as straightforward as it may seem...?
Debbie Macomber is quite the bestselling author with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide, and after having read 'A Girl's Guide to Moving On' I am once again reminded what a wonderful storyteller she is. This novel is actually the second part of Debbie's 'New Beginnings' series, which started with 'Last One Home', but it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. The book focuses on two different female characters who each have their own storyline; Leanne and Nichole. I really easily warmed to both characters and enjoyed their stories equally. It was lovely joining Leanne and Nichole on the road to starting their new lives, single and ready for some well-deserved happiness.
I particularly loved the romance element that was clearly present in the novel. Rocco and Nikolai, the two male characters, were both great and I loved seeing Leanne and Nichole falling in love again and dealing with all the things that come with that. I also want to take the chance to say how much I fell in love with Nichole's son Owen; he was just the cutest little boy. Debbie Macomber's writing style fit the story really well which turned it into a lovely comfort read. It wasn't too deep or heavily emotional; perfect if you're looking for a bit of romantic escapism. I thoroughly enjoyed 'A Girl's Guide to Moving On' and put it down with a smile on my face; it's an inspiring and touching novel about love and friendship and finding happiness; a great read!