Book Review | Things to Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapley

Authour:
Marissa Stapley
Format:
eGalley
Publication date:
February 6th 2018
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Canada
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Marissa Stapley’s debut, Mating for Life was an interesting read and after being asked to do the cover reveal for Things To Do When It’s Raining I was excited for her latest book. Recommended for fans of Nicholas Sparks, I can definitely understand the appeal of Things To Do When It’s Raining. After all, there are childhood sweethearts, forbidden love and of course families complicated by secrets.

However, the romance isn’t the main focus of Things To Do When It’s Raining. Instead, told from various perspectives, readers receive all sorts of hints regarding the complicated family history of both Mae and Gabe. And while the stories are compelling, the various chapters felt a bit jumbled up and confusing after some time. Understandably, although this may be due to both Lilly and George’s old age and deteriorating state of mind it made it difficult to connect with either of their stories. As for Mae and Gabe, I adored their relationship and wished it received more time, especially since the epilogue glosses over what could’ve been a compelling story of how their relationship evolved over time.

Stapley’s writing as always is incredibly vivid and descriptive and it’s always refreshing to witness her approach serious topics in a realistic and occasionally heartbreaking way in her books. I also love the quirkiness that is infused into the story, for example, in Things To Do When It’s Raining each chapter starts with a suggestion of actual activities the characters can do on days where it’s raining making it an amusing nod to the title of the book.

Things To Do When It’s Raining is a quick read, however, I personally felt that I was given an abundance of little clues and details that did not truly add up to anything conclusive. In the end, it felt truly like nothing happened or was revealed despite the massive information overload. And while this made it the story more true to reality, it felt unsatisfying to me. Nevertheless, Things To Do When It’s Raining is well-written and would make for an excellent cozy read.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

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Cover Reveal | Things to Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapley

When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it?

Mae Summers and Gabe Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence River. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lily and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up and got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay by separate forces. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets that implicate Gabe and Mae’s family reveal a version of the past that will forever change Mae’s future.

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a poignant generational story about family and secrets. With honesty and heart, Marissa Stapley reminds us of the redemptive power of love and forgiveness, and that, ultimately, family is a choice.

***

As a someone who enjoyed Mating for Life, I’m definitely looking forward to Things to Do When It’s Raining. Also how pretty is this cover? This book will be out in stores, February 2018!

Blog Tour | Mating For Life by Marissa Stapley Book Review

Authour:matelife
Marissa Stapley
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 312 pages
Publication date:
June 24 2014
Publisher:
Washington Square Press
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Marissa Stapley’s debut novel, Mating for Life is both an interesting and a touching story about the relationships women have with each other in addition to being about family and love. Though the book started off slow for me, and some parts were a bit too wordy for my liking, I thought Mating for Life was overall a nice read.

What I enjoyed about Mating for Life is that it follows only the women in the book with the men acting as more secondary characters. Throughout the book we get to know Helen Sear, the mother of three grown up daughters and a woman who has always prided herself on not needing men. As well, we also obtain an opportunity to get acquainted with her daughters, Liane, Fiona and Ilsa, who are all unique though fairly believable characters. And even though I could not relate much to them with the exception of Liane’s tendency to idealize strangers; they still felt extremely real to me since the issues and questions the characters have are quite common today.

With many characters, it was a bit tough to get used to all the bouncing between different characters’ point of views which often happens in a single chapter, perhaps it would have been better if each character had their own chapter so that the flow was not disrupted as much. However even within the chapters, the transitions between different characters were handled better compared to other books I’ve read previously.

Overall, Stapley’s greatest strength in Mating for Life lies in capturing the complexities of female relationships as well as describing the little and on occasion dramatic moments such as the bridge scene between Fiona and her husband, Tim as well as the epilogue with Helen. The first scene made me tear up a bit, which made me look even weirder than usual as I was reading it while on the bus. Meanwhile the latter just filled me up with so much hope and joy.

Mating for Life is a book that I believe would make for a fine cottage read given its main setting. And I love how Stapley plays with the title of her book by including a brief description of the mating and/or breeding behaviour of a different animal at the start of each chapter. This adds to the book, as not only do you find an interesting story, but you also learn a thing or too.

If you like this book, you’ll love: My Ghosts by Mary Swan

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.