Published in 2012, Almost Always tells the story of fifty-four year old Eva Palmer, who's been married to John for thirty-four years. The story begins when Eva overhears two teenagers talking in a booth at Bob Evans, a restaurant in Ohio. Eva then initiates a conversation with a pregnant and distraught eighteen-year-old, Cecelia Rudgely. Determined to find a baby for her daughter, Shelly, and a grandchild for herself, Eva's entranced by the idea that she could give the teenager's baby to Shelly, her daughter. Shelly and her husband, Brad, have been trying unsuccessfully to start a family for several years, and are discouraged and disheartened, Optimistic that things will work out, Eva embarks on a new mission, and befriends Cecelia, with the hope of giving her daughter a very precious gift--a baby.
I know we're all busy with the holidays, so I'll "cut to the chase". Simply put, I loved this book. I'm glad I chose to read it, because I enjoyed it greatly. Almost Always is a well-written and believable story. Although my words may sound clichéd, the story touched my heart, and made me laugh and cry. (I actually cried quite a bit while reading this book.)
Eva may be meddlesome, but this protagonist was my favorite character, a homemaker and caregiver who genuinely cares about others. I adored her character. Eva stays true to character, as a caregiver who puts others first, and wishes to make them happy. She also helps an elderly neighbor, Mrs. Darlene Hemley, an ailing, childless widow. Throughout the book, which is written in the present tense, we're privy to Eva's private thoughts and feelings as a wife and mother, to her joys and doubts. Naturally, she worries that Cecelia may ultimately decide to keep the baby. Readers are kept in suspense, not knowing what Cecelia and her boyfriend, Jeremy, will decide to do after the baby's born. I relished the side plots in the book, in particular Eva's husband's puzzling new hobby, making gingerbread houses from scratch, which seems feminine and out of character for him (he's a retired State Highway Patrol trooper). Gradually, details about Eva's long marriage to John unfold throughout the pages, revealing the history of their marriage and family, which includes two adult children, Shelly and Scott.
Almost Always is a love story of a different kind. It's not about heady romance or glittering new love. It's about seasoned love that has developed over the course of many years, through good times and bad. This book is about love at the very core of marriage and family, and how that love provides the courage to face each day. I think Bobbi Reed's novel is fabulous, and highly recommend it, especially to readers who enjoy books that center around marriage and family.
Wonderful news! Author Bobbi Reed is generously offering an international giveaway for a copy of Almost Always (print copy, U.S.; ebook, elsewhere).
- To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
- For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
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Enter by 5 PM PST on Monday, January 6. One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, January 7.
Thanks to Bobbi Reed for sending me a complimentary copy of her book, and for offering a giveaway to my readers. Your comments are welcomed, as always. Thanks for reading!