ISBN #: 978-1942255048
Page Count: 300
Copyright: May 21, 2015
Publisher: Bats in the Boathouse Press
(Taken from Amazon)
Bad luck and worse choices—that’s Irene. She’s been a widow half her life and now splits her time between waitressing at the Rise and Shine café and singing in an oldies cover band. And she’s having an affair with a married man—something that even her eclectic, super liberal family can’t condone. She’d be the first one to admit she has faults, but she’s not a bigot. The genetic pool in her nuclear family spans the globe. And it’s not that she’s prejudiced against people with disabilities but that doctors and wheelchairs give her the heebie-jeebies. So when a cute guy in a chair keeps showing up in the restaurant, she’s clumsy, awkward and strangely drawn. Can Irene let go of the past or is she too emotionally broken to find a future worth the risk?
First, I love that the Lacland novels intertwine but not so much that they can't be read as stand-alone novels. If you've not read a Lacland story before and wonder where it all begins, have no fear! Begin where you want, but if you're a little OCD like me you can begin with Releasing Gillian's Wolves.
Irene's family is very close-knit and unique. With their genetics covering quite a few minorities, Irene's family is an easy target for racist groups. Having those experiences, you'd think Irene would be cognizant of another person's differences and be sensitive to that person. Not entirely true. Meeting an attractive guy in a wheelchair throws her for a loop and Irene has a tendency to offend him time and again.
I found Irene's lack of a verbal filter, and her cluelessness when she offends, to be somewhat overdone. At times she seems to be uncaring that she's offended a disabled person. Also, she's been widowed for half her life and she's held on to anger and hurt for the entire time. We're talking about 20 years here. So much so that she couldn't talk about her dead husband to their son in present day. Maybe it's just me, and maybe I get over things quicker than others, but I think 20 years to be a bit excessive. Surely in 20 years' time she could have found several opportunities to buck up and share memories with her son about his father. I don't know ... like I said, maybe it's just me.
Despite Irene's roughness and lack of sensitivity, I really did enjoy this novel. The small-town atmosphere really does draw you in and makes you want to get to know the characters in the novel. I would love to see what happens with Irene's son in the future.
Please don't let my negative comments turn you away from reading this. It's a quick read that will keep you company on a lonely night. Give it a chance.
*A physical copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.