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Evvie Drake Starts Over

A Novel
Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Linda Holmes
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (413 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast comes a heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship between a young woman who’s lost her husband and a Major League pitcher who’s lost his game.

“A quirky, sweet, and splendid story of a woman coming into her own.” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones & the Six

In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them. 

Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and even worse, he can’t figure out why. As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future. 

When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken - and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts - the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept - but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance - up until the last out. 

A joyful, hilarious, and hope-filled debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over will have you cheering for the two most unlikely comebacks of the year - and will leave you wanting more from Linda Holmes.

Praise for Evvie Drake Starts Over

“Charming, hopeful, and gently romantic.... Evvie Drake is great company.” (Rainbow Rowell, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Eleanor & Park

©2019 Linda Holmes (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Holmes writes with an easy warmth about kind people who are trying their best but messing things up anyway. Characters speak to each other with natural but hilarious dialogue, making their conversations a joy to read. Refreshingly, Evvie and Dean’s relationship hurdles come because they’re adults with complex lives and baggage, not because of easily fixed miscommunications. Although their romance is often front and center, there are many other emotionally affecting storylines, chief among them the changing friendship between Andy and Evvie and Evvie’s need to stand up to her family. A warm and lovely romance, perfect for readers of Rainbow Rowell and Louise Miller.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Holmes’s debut charms, as a young widow and a former Major League pitcher learn to begin again.... At times deeply emotional yet sometimes extremely humorous, this is a satisfying crowd-pleaser.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Deeply moving while simultaneously hilarious, Evvie Drake Starts Over is what happens when great writing, complex and charming characters, and a not-quite-what-you-expect ending collide.... Much more than just another romantic comedy.” (Karen White, New York Times best-selling author of Dreams of Falling)  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Home Run

I had high expectations based on Linda Holmes' excellent work on NPR. The book even exceeded those expectations.
Excellent reader. Loved the easy banter and the naturalness of dialogue. As a romance it got where it had to go - and in an interesting way.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • Kansas City, MO, United States
  • 07-01-19

Loveliest!

I have been a giant fan of Linda's writing on NPR and was thrilled to check out her debut novel! The characters are very fleshed out and the story is rings true. Perfect summer read!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • T
  • 07-12-19

Perfection!!

I love everything about this book. Great characters, great development, sweet slow burn romance and so much more. A master class in adult contemporary fiction.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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So credit worthy!

A wonderfully fun, sweet, poignant listen for any and everyone who has ever felt a little bit stuck or broken. So hopeful. Terrific characters, great writing and of course a fun sweet little puppy at the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Must read or listen for any season

This book is a total pleasure from beginning to end. Full lived characters with normal problems that, as in real life, don't get solved totally by the end of the book. You care about these people and that is due to the talent of Linda Holmes, if this is her first book I can't wait to see what comes next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Maria
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 07-11-19

Didn’t want it to end!

After the first few chapters, I checked to see how many chapters were left because I had to figure out how to pace myself so I didn’t finish it too fast. I sat in the garage at work so I could finish a chapter. I loved it!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable, satisfying, and lovely

This book was just what I wanted: a warm, satisfying romance and an enjoyable feel-good read. It's one of the best kinds of literary comfort food. The relationships are thoughtful, the storytelling and setting feel natural, and the women characters are well-drawn. The dialogue was especially enjoyable with really great banter (it's so hard to write natural-sounding flirting, but this book pulls it off). It's sweet and smart and charming, but also grapples with grief, loss, selfhood, and other more complicated themes that elevate it. As advertised, this is a rom-com...in the best sense of the term. Overall, this is a perfect "summer" book that you can read all year.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Finished in one day

I saw this book on a morning tv show for summer read recommendations. I put it in my wish list and I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed the characters, the storyline and the narrator. It was a nice light read that I really enjoyed listening to a lazy Sunday.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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I loved this book!

The characters and the story are so identifiable and engaging. I expect to read it again. Thank you!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Light, predictable story line.

Narrator great, not sure why all the f-bombs. Don't believe they add anything to the story line.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful