Monday, 17 September 2018

Oh My Stars

Finished September 5
Oh My Stars by Sally Kilpatrick

This feel good novel is set in small town Tennessee. Ivy Long lives in Ellery with her mother and younger sister, a place she moved back to after the death of her husband from cancer a few years ago. Her mom helped get her a job at the Dollar General, and she's been mostly keeping her head down and trying not to think about the book her contract says she must submit by the end of the year, after many extensions. Her first book was very popular, but she can't seem to focus on the humour and romance that the next book in the series requires. It's an unhappy coincidence that her series was titled the Merry Widows shortly before she became a widow herself.
This year, her mom signed her up for a week posing as Mary in the drive-thru nativity scene just outside the store she works at. But then she meets the man posing as Joseph, Gabriel Ledbetter, a man who lived most of his life in the city, returned to help out his dad at the farm, and to wait out a malpractice case he is fighting. As a pediatrician, he is a bit out of his element on the farm, but finds some compensations in the people around him, and gradually getting to know his dad better, as well as his own history.
The title of the book comes from a phrase often voiced by Ivy's mom, when she is surprised, and Ivy and her sister Holly have a bet on about who can make their mom say it.
When a real live baby is laying in the manger one evening when Ivy reports for her nativity shift, Gabe is enlisted to check her health before the authorities become involved, and Ivy soon finds herself involved in a situation that takes her out of her resigned state of apathy and into a future she never dreamed of.
With characters that have interesting backstories, and a unique setting, this book brought both tears and a smile to my face as I read.

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