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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: The Ones Who Matter Most by Rachael Herron

Title: The Ones Who Matter Most
Author: Rachael Herron
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: April 5, 2016

About the book(from the publisher): After her husband dies unexpectedly, Abby Roberts finds wedding photographs of him with another woman, along with pictures of a baby boy. Shocked, she does something utterly impulsive: she embarks on a journey to discover the family her husband apparently left behind.

What begins as one woman’s search for truth becomes a deep bond forged between the unlikeliest of people. Their surprising journey reveals how strangers can quickly find themselves to be family.

Herron’s mastery of grief, love, and the human condition was honed by her career as a 911 volunteer. She says: “Everything I know about the strength of the human heart and its determination to love comes from the calls I take on a daily basis. I’ve heard hearts break. I’ve heard love in every language, and it sounds the same.”

Pack Up the Moon was named by Working Mother magazine as one of the best gift books for Mother’s Day in 2014. THE ONES WHO MATTER MOST resonates with similar themes of family, highlighting how the most unbreakable bonds can often be the most unlikely. Herron’s previous novels, Splinters of Light and Pack Up the Moon, have been called “riveting” (Booklist), “emotional” (RT Book Reviews) and “poignant” (Library Journal).


My thoughts: Sometimes it is really hard to find the right words for a review.  I really enjoyed reading this book.  We no more meet Abby when her husband dies.  She had just asked him for a divorce, so she is confused as to what she is feeling.  Is it grief?  Is it relief?  She had really wanted a child with her husband - she felt that would make her family complete.  Her parents were gone and she had no siblings.  The closest thing she had to family was a surrogate mom, a lady who had been her mom's best friend.  When she discovers what her husband has done to go against their plan for a family is when she asks him for a divorce - and then he dies. 

Left to sort through his belongings, she discovers a past life that he never shared with her. A wife and child (Fern and Matty) that he never talked about, let alone visited.  All he did was send her a check every month. Abby feels a great need to meet this woman and child.  Scott's child - the child she wanted to have. 

The first meeting is awkward, as you can expect, and it gets worse when she shares the news that Scott has died. For Fern it had been a struggle to raise Matty on her own, and she depended on the monthly check from Scott as much as she despised it. She wants to hate Abby, but realizes that Abby had known nothing about them.  Slowly, with misunderstandings and accidental circumstances, Fern and Abby start to form a friendship.  

I did really love this book.  It was messy.  It was emotional.  It was very realistic. There are no cut and dried answers to life - things don't always have a happily ever after - or at least not the happily ever after that we expect.  Great book just in time for Mother's Day!

~I received a complimentary e-copy of The Ones Who Matter Most from Penguin Random House through Net Galley in exchange for my unbiased review.~

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