Evvie Drake Starts Over Book Review

Grief has a funny way of changing our lives. We may not see it at the time, but in the long run, we can look back and see how the change that the grief created.

In the new book, Evvie Drake Starts Over, by Linda Holmes, the titular character, Eveleth “Evvie” Drake lives in a small town on the coast of New England. Newly widowed, Evvie hides a secret about her late husband, who was a much beloved local doctor. In New York City, Dean Tenney was the greatest thing to happen to major league baseball since Babe Ruth. But since his pitching arm stopped working, his career and reputation have been in decline.

Dean and Evvie are connected by a mutual friend. Dean moves into town and rents an apartment in Evvie’s house. Bonded by their individual grief, they strike a deal. Evvie does not ask Dean about baseball and Dean does not ask Evvie about her late husband. That deal slowly erodes away into friendship and something more.

But unless Dean and Evvie deal their pasts and the truth of their pasts, neither will be able to move forward.

I loved this book. If I were to compile a top ten of best new books of 2019 today, this book would be on the list.

The reasons that I loved this book comes down to two generic themes: grief and romance. From a writing perspective, it would be easy to write a character who eats too much, drinks too much, watches sappy movies and throws themselves a pity party. But neither Evvie or Dean throw themselves a pity party. The arc from hiding their emotions to releasing their emotions felt natural and authentic.

While this book can technically be classified as a romance, the romance between the main characters is subtle, understated and a perfect slow burn that made me wonder if they were ever going to get together.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, New York City

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