27 May 2024

Review: Novel -- 'Let's Pretend This Will Work' by Maddie Dawson


This book actually convinced me that there truly is magic in this world. And a skirt beats out a wand any day of the week and twice on Sundays. 

Mimi Perkins has met the man of her dreams and has a wonderful job. Said man--Ren--even proposes to her.  And then it all falls to crap, pretty much immediately afterward. Ren's ex-wife has been in a car accident because she had a severe stroke while driving. A week later, Mimi gets fired from her teaching job. She ends up following Ren to New Haven in a show of support but he doesn't have time for his fiancée because he's taking care of the ex. He's paying her rent in the shabby rundown apartment she's managed to sublet and shows up for amazing sex. When he can. So now, Mimi has no life, no friends, no job, and a fiancé who shows up every once in a blue moon. WTF???

Until she gets a job working downstairs at the daycare. She makes friends with the parents who do their weekly co-op thing at the daycare. And meets Jamie, a lonely widower trying to improve his lot in life with overbearing former in-laws and a four-year-old daughter named Alice who is also grieving the loss of her Mommy. Life just got a whole lot more of a journey that Mimi isn't sure she wanted but the spirit guides her psychic La Starla says she needs. A world of wounded people who need Mimi more.

I started this book thinking, geez, the pacing is taking forever. And then started talking back to the prose and Mimi about getting her head out of her butt and growing up and stop being a doormat. And then another character told her the same thing. And what is it about psychics that can never just come out and say something? Why does it always have to be couched in general terms and talking around things when they could just say it!!!  Which is when I realized the pacing is just fine. It was me wanting instant gratification. 

The story develops in a wonderful way, letting the reader feel every moment of Mimi's pain and alienation. Finding her way in a new world with her own friends and the kind of life she realizes she always wanted. Healing her own hurts along the way.

Maddie Dawson has written a very understated story about finding life and love. The characters are multi-dimensional with all the realities of real people showing. You take them as you find them and love them despite their faults. We are who we are and you don't try to fix us. The story weaves these people into a larger family and that's what makes it so glorious when you get to the Happily Ever After, even when it's not the one everyone expected. I got so lost in this book that I woke up this morning and had to finish it. Because I wasn't going to survive if I didn't. That is the mark of a great story to me. I might have gotten a bit irritated with Mimi and Ren and Jamie and Jerome and Mandy and Judith, but I never got bored with them. I never got tired of their story. And I never stopped liking them.

Absolutely brilliant story and another author that I see great things coming from in the future. A must read and another five out of five star read.

Let's Pretend This Will Work will be released on Friday, June 1st 2024 through all bookstores and online sellers, especially:

Barnes & Noble

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