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Publisher's Summary

Critically acclaimed author Julie Lawson Timmer returns with a tale of how community can heal the brokenness in all of us.

Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of "defectives," to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.

What Markie doesn't realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée's broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them. But when Mrs. Saint's own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it's up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the "defectives" - one full of second chances and happiness.

©2017 Julie Lawson Timmer (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    358
  • 4 Stars
    312
  • 3 Stars
    171
  • 2 Stars
    61
  • 1 Stars
    29

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    432
  • 4 Stars
    246
  • 3 Stars
    118
  • 2 Stars
    33
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    315
  • 4 Stars
    268
  • 3 Stars
    177
  • 2 Stars
    53
  • 1 Stars
    31
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hours of a narcissist complaining

I was expecting a book like A Man Called Ove: flawed but decent human being working through the difficulties of life. This is not anywhere near that level of story/character development. HOURS of somebody complaining to no end and acting like they are far better than everybody around them. This woman has so many people and so many resources to help her through a difficult time, and all she does is complain.
And the ending? I can't believe that people love this ending. It's more "okay, I'm done writing. What backstory can I give character X to tie this all up in a pretty bow and make people want to like my main character?" Nope.

110 of 122 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Unusual & Off Beat

I had a difficult time at first adjusting to this book. I think it was probably because I had just finished an edge of your seat, page turner, titled Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy. The contrast between Meloy's writing and narration and the style and tone of this book was surprising. It was kind of like coming abruptly to the end of one of those moving sidewalks at the airport. One minute you are flying along and the next minute you are struggling to recover your stride.

Don't get me wrong, Timmer worked hard to make this a feel good story about quirky but overly involved and extra-caring people. To me, parts of the story were a stretch when it came to believability and probability. The whole idea of the term "defectives" used in relation to the characters in the story gave me pause. Also, at times the narration became a bit over the top.

All that said, this was by far the best Kindle First book I've tried. In the end I felt engaged enough by the story and the characters to stick with it and finish the book. Not a roaringly positive recommendation, I know, but a solid three star listen. You might like it.

57 of 64 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 03-31-18

This one is not for me!

I've spent 4.5 hours trying to get into this novel. It is simply not working for me. I give up.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

solid read for a weekend getaway

This is a light-hearted book about post-WWII aftermath messiness and how a person can hide a heart of gold. The reason this gets a 2 star rating instead of my average 3 stars is because the motivations of the protagonist are, at several points in the book, silly, shallow, petty and unbelievable. Thus, it was hard to like the book as much as I think it otherwise deserves to be liked. I enjoyed the touch of history, I enjoyed the light character development and the cliff-hangers were reasonably compelling to march towards the end of the book. This is a great light read for a weekend getaway.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Just ok.

Several times I thought about not finishing this book. I just found it to be very wordy and predictable. I didn't have much empathy for the lead character and had a hard time connecting with any of the characters.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Annoying Characters Contrived Plot

I'm almost sorry I spent time listening to this until the end. The main character was extremely annoying- always acting like she understood everyone's motivations and even at the end when the ridiculous plot was complete, I still didn't think she had any insight. Not recommended.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible!

What would have made Mrs. Saint and the Defectives better?

The main character was annoying, shallow and predictably stupid. The book had the makings for a cute/fun story, which is what I expected based on the description. However, the execution was excruciatingly melodramatic.. I couldn't finish it. Narration was ok, but the writing was painful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good narration - - but a ho-hum plot...

You know those books that make you think at any moment they're going to take off and make you care about the characters? Yes, me too. This is not that. The only good part (and why I even gave it three stars) is that it did stimulate me enough to listen to the whole thing I think because it's a good narrator. I just wish that by the time I was done I actually had a feeling, good or bad, about anybody I just wasted hours listening about.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Save Your Money

If you like this sort of thing (soap operas) you might as well listen to one of the soaps on network TV - for free. This book's saving grace was its historical background during WWII.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The world needs more Mrs. Saints

I enjoyed this story about second chances filled with quirky characters and all with a connection to the intriguing Mrs. Saint. Going in unexpected directions the novel kept me interested and on a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride - yet left me smiling at the end.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful