The Le­mon­ade Year

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - CLAIRE FOS­TER

Amy Wil­loughby-burle Shadow Moun­tain Pub­lish­ing (APRIL) Soft­cover $15.99 (352pp), 978-1-62972-411-9

Sweet and tangy, The Le­mon­ade Year is a light­hearted romance that takes on heavy is­sues like di­vorce, mis­car­riage, and fam­ily dys­func­tion.

Food pho­tog­ra­pher Nina Grif­fin is pretty sure that life af­ter di­vorce is just the pits. Ev­ery­thing that she was count­ing on—her mar­riage, par­ents, job, and fam­ily—is sud­denly put in jeop­ardy. Nina quickly re­al­izes that her usual cop­ing meth­ods, which range from car­rot cake to cute guys, aren’t go­ing to dig her out of the hole she’s in, ei­ther. As she tries to ne­go­ti­ate the dif­fi­cult events of her “le­mon­ade year,” Nina must learn to iden­tify what re­ally mat­ters in her life and how far she’s will­ing to go to se­cure it.

Re­lat­able, sassy, and gen­uine, Nina is a won­der­ful char­ac­ter who lights up the pages of The Le­mon­ade Year. As a pho­tog­ra­pher, her per­spec­tive is vis­ual and adds many fun de­tails to the land­scape of the novel. Nina is a keen ob­server: one day, vis­it­ing her sis­ter Lola, she re­flects, “She tried so hard to hide the braces on her legs, to walk slowly so she wouldn’t need to limp, but in­side her room, she would take off the leg warm­ers, sit in the sun, and let the light gleam off the metal cas­ings on her an­kles.” Nina un­der­stands that part of lov­ing some­one is pay­ing at­ten­tion to them. In The Le­mon­ade Year, she dis­cov­ers the pleasure of fi­nally feel­ing seen her­self.

This deft, quick novel moves eas­ily through Nina’s many ups and downs. It takes on big is­sues, from los­ing a fam­ily mem­ber to cop­ing with a brain in­jury, but its lan­guage re­mains light and friendly, promis­ing that no mat­ter how bad things get, Nina can still have the life she de­sires.

The Le­mon­ade Year is a smart, sat­is­fy­ing romance that bal­ances life’s sour mo­ments with its sweet ones.

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