Just One Thing by Holly Jacobs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a story about losing and finding loved ones. It is written with two separate timelines, the past and present and the main two characters are sharing their pasts with each other. It's a rather charming set-up actually. The barkeep asks the patron to tell him just one thing on each of her visits. Slowly she comes out of the shell she has built around herself. It immediately sucks the reader in and starts off very strong.
I particularly enjoyed the fact that the characters and situations were completely realistic. The main couple were both older characters with family situations that were relate-able in one way or another. The obstacles they faced are being overcome by people everyday. The only magic in the book is love, forgiveness, and acceptance and that is a magic that we are capable of bringing into our own lives with a bit of effort. In the right hands this is a book that could deliver hope.
My only complaint is the ending, it was a bit of a let down. One of the ongoing stories is a tapestry that is being made. Although it is a bit of a quilt styled tapestry if you ask me. Anyways, each square is a significant picture and there is a story bringing meaning to it. The last square felt like a big tease. A chapter ends stating "I knew how the tapestry should be finished." And then the whole next chapter is building suspense on her completing it. Then . . . nothing. I messaged the author to ask if I had missed something and she told me what she sees as the last piece, but the book doesn't spell it out because the main point of the book is that it doesn't really matter. It doesn't matter because everything is more than just one thing. Which is one way to make a point I suppose. I get it, but I don't like it. I wanted more, or perhaps I wanted closure. Given the topics in the book denying closure is a pretty artistic move.
The author is really cool to have written me back though, and I will definitely keep an eye out for other books by her since I do like her writing style. I also like that she has the confidence to end the book with a piece missing, knowing that in general we readers like to have it spelled out for us.
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