Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber
Addition: E-book, review copy from NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5
In the middle of the year, in the middle of her life, Bethanne Hamlin takes a road trip with her daughter, Annie, and her former mother-in-law, Ruth. They’re driving to Florida for Ruth’s 50th high-school reunion. A longtime widow, Ruth would like to reconnect with Royce, the love of her teenage life. She’s heard he’s alone, too…and, well, she’s curious. Maybe even hopeful. Bethanne herself needs time to reflect, to ponder a decision she has to make. Her ex-husband, Grant — her children’s father — wants to reconcile now that his second marriage has failed. Bethanne’s considering it…. Meanwhile, Annie’s out to prove to her onetime boyfriend that she can live a brilliant life without him! So there they are, three women driving across America. They have their maps and their directions — but even the best-planned journey can take you to a turn in the road. Or lead you to an unexpected encounter — like the day Bethanne meets a man named Max who really is a hero on a Harley. That’s when Bethanne’s decision becomes a lot harder. Because Grant wants her back, but now there’s Max…. From Seattle’s Blossom Street to the other end of the country, this is a trip that could change three women’s lives.
This is number 8 in the Blossom Street series. The story follows a Grandmother, ex-daughter-in-law and granddaughter as they travel across America, from Seattle to Florida on a road trip to Ruth’s 50 year school reunion. There is more going on with all of them though – Ruth wants to see her first love again and apologise for breaking his heart, Bethanne needs to decide if she wants to reunite with her ex-husband Grant – Ruth’s son and Annie’s father. But he had an affair and left her broken – can she forgive him and trust him again? And Annie is heart-broken. Her boyfriend didn’t propose, he told her he was off to Europe on a trip with his mates that they had been planning for months. Annie wants to go on this trip to have her own adventure and prove she does not need him. She also wants to convince Bethanne that getting back with Grant is the best way forward. But then they meet some bikers and Bethanne starts to fall for Max – the most unlikely biker, with a heartbreaking story of his own. What will she decide?
Let’s get the negatives out the way first:
- I miss the original Blossom Street characters – people such as Lydia and Alex – I think Macomber should write about them again
- As ever, this book was predictable – I don’t mind this, I just enjoy reading the story that leads the ending I already know is coming but others won’t like this
- These books started out set around knitting, that seems to have faded out somewhat – I used to love following the woman’s lives as they knitted.
These aside, I do love Macomber’s books and this is no exception. I find them engaging and I get drawn into the story. I empathise with the characters and want to know what path they will chose to take. I found this story fascinating as it looks also at the different areas of America, a country I have never been too. I felt like I was experiencing some of the charm of these places too.
I find Macomber is good at writing characters that I like and want to read more about. I liked these three girls, although at times I found they all bugged me! Annie was a bit needy and controlling, yet I wanted her to experience some of life and learn to forgive not seek revenge. Bethanne I liked the most and really sympathised with her when Grant and Annie were putting the pressure on her, yet her pining bugged me a little. Ruth was great. She was feisty for an older woman and determined, and I was thrilled with how her story turned out. Grant really annoyed me. I didn’t like how he felt he could just walk back into Bethanne’s life and be controlling – checking up on her etc. Max I thought was lovely and I found myself supporting him throughout this book. His heart was kind and he was learning to heal and love again.
I really enjoy Macomber’s books. I always know what I am going to get and I always come back for more. She is one of my favourite authors because she writes stories that I enjoy, characters I empathise with or spark emotions off in me and she draws me in and makes me feel like I am there in the story. I am yet to be disappointed with her writing.