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Publisher's Summary

Gina Zoberski wants to make it through one day without her fastidious mother Lorraine cataloguing all her faults, and her sullen teenage daughter May snubbing her. Too bad there's no chance of that. Her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys them both, no matter how hard she tries. Instead, Gina finds order and comfort in obsessive list-making and her work at Grilled G's, the gourmet grilled cheese food truck built by her late husband. But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret Lorraine's kept hidden for 40 years. In the face of her mother's failing health and her daughter's rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go...

©2018 Amy E. Reichert (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 07-06-18

My problem is the subject matter - GRIEF.

Most of the book has way too much time with three females grieving deaths of husbands/fathers/first-loves. Most of the story is flashback memories of nice times together before the person died: how they met, their relationship, how they died. Even at the end of the book there are more tear jerking grief scenes. This book is sooo different from the author’s first book “The Coincidence of Coconut Cake.” I loved that book. It was a contemporary romance story but drawn out like womens fiction. It was an enjoyable escape. This new book “The Optimists...” is a totally different type of book. No fun. A downer.

The characters: Lorraine was cold and distant to her two daughters Gina and Vicki now around age 40. Gina’s teenage daughter May is cold and distant to Gina. The men in Lorraine’s life are dead. Gina’s husband died two years ago.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Teri Schnaubelt did a great job. I would listen to her again.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 352 pages. Swearing language: the f-word 2 or 3 times. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day plus flashbacks Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Book copyright: 2018. Genre: grief fiction.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read two other books by this author.
5 stars. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake.
3 ½ stars. The Simplicity of Cider. (Lack of justice for crimes done.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A well written beach book!

Strong female characters with lots of layers. Honest emotions and dialogues. Great read and will totally recommend

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great story

great read! truly loving Amy's novels more and more. this story was touching and real, hit home for me.