Title: The Way We Weren’t
Author: Phoebe Fox
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Page Count: 381
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
An unlikely friendship between a septuagenarian and a younger woman becomes a story of broken trust, lost love, and the unexpected blooming of hope against the longest odds.
“You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid?”
Marcie Malone didn’t think she was either, but when she drives from Georgia to the southwestern shore of Florida without a plan and wakes up in a stranger’s home, she doesn’t seem to know anymore. Despondent and heartbroken over an unexpected loss and the man she thought she could count on, Marcie leaves him behind, along with her job and her whole life, and finds she has nowhere to go.
Herman Flint has seen just about everything in his seventy years living in a fading, blue-collar Florida town, but the body collapsed on the beach outside his window is something new. The woman is clearly in some kind of trouble and Flint wants no part of it—he’s learned to live on his own just fine, without the hassle of worrying about others. But against his better judgment he takes Marcie in and lets her stay until she’s on her feet on the condition she keeps out of his way.
As the unlikely pair slowly copes with the damage life has wrought, Marcie and Flint have to decide whether to face up to the past they’ve each been running from, and find a way to move forward with the people they care about most.
The Way We Weren’t by Phoebe Fox is a contemporary women’s fiction novel that does have a touch of romance but more about self discovery and healing. The story is told by changing the point of view between the two main characters, Flint and Marcie.
Marcie Malone is in her early forties when for the second time in her life she suffers a miscarriage. Marcie and her husband of twenty five years had been teenagers when they first saw those lines on a pregnancy test. The couple married young only to lose the baby shortly after and now after a life without children it happens yet again.
Marcie was scheduled to return to work but when she was in her car and on her way she missed her exit and just continued driving. The next morning Flint, a seventy year old living in a small town in Florida finds a woman lying on the beach near his home. Marcie had landed on Flint’s doorstep amid her grief and somehow finds herself forming a friendship with the stranger that saved her.
The Way We Weren’t by Phoebe Fox was such a beautiful story that I found myself not able to put down. My heart ached for Marcie but then found the joy as she and Flint both healed along their journey making this one have all the feels. Of course I also loved the setting of the small neglected beach town and the residents in it, oh and of course the sea turtles! A lovely read with wonderful characters finding their paths in their lives.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Phoebe Fox is a former journalist and a relationship columnist for the Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and SheKnows. She’s been obsessed with words since she sounded out her first one with Sesame Street, and now writes funny, touching contemporary women’s fiction about relationships, heartbreak, loss, grief, and all the ways the people we love drive us crazy. One day she plans to finally figure out why we gloriously illogical humans do the strange things we do. Phoebe lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two excellent dogs.
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