Sunday 20 August 2023

If You Ask Me

Finished August 7
If You Ask Me by Libby Hubscher

Violet Covington is the writer of an advice column, Dear Sweetie in her local North Carolina newspaper. As the book opens, she is told that her column is up for syndication and she is a bit excited about this opportunity. She is good friends with her boss Kyra, whom she originally met at college, as well as her coworkers, Ashleigh and Tyler. She decides to go home early to prepare a celebratory dinner for her and her lawyer husband Sam, but gets an unpleasant surprise that rocks her sense of self and her plans, her husband in bed with another woman. 
After kicking him out, Violet goes through the normal stages of grief around such an experience and both does and says some things that she regrets later. Giving advice that is more open than anything she's written to date means that she gets a more prominent profile, especially after her real name is revealed and she must consider how to deal with both new opportunities and deal with blowback. 
Her more personal actions lead her to new relationships, including a professional encounter with a local firefighter, Dez, that turns personal. 
This is a story of a relationship that had issues long before the abrupt end, and how we don't always know what kinds of personal issues people are hiding from the world. 
I liked the inclusion of the letters and Dear Sweetie's replies that appeared here, showing some new ways of thinking about interpersonal relationships that I found hit the mark for me. 
I was rooting for Violet as she grew as a person here, and found this book hard to put down. 

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