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A Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber, a book review

You can ask, but I might not answer 
says Max Scranton, in A Turn in Road by Debbie Macomber. Max doesn't share much about himself, except his missing smile, his melancholy eyes, his abandonment of home and drifting back and forth across country, with or without friends – speaks volumes.

Bethanne, the protagonist of the novel, sees something in Max that she recognizes in herself: pain.

Debbie Macomber deftly handles the lives of five characters, Bethanne, Max, Bethanne's ex-husband Grant, their daughter Annie, and Grant's mother Ruth, plus the entourage who surround them, in this heartfelt romance. She even makes Grant, the cheating ex-husband sympathetic, no small feat.

The dread, that Bethanne might take Grant back, though, ratcheted anxiety throughout the novel as Bethanne bounced between should I give Grant a chance, or should I invest in Max, the sad stranger who sparks romance? This bouncing back and forth was twenty-five percent too long. The novel wouldn't have suffered if that could have been tighter.

The first kiss was too soon and felt out of place.

Max has found Bethanne stranded with her traveling companions after their car breaks down where they've stopped for lunch. He takes her to town to get a tow truck. They have a short conversation. Bethanne touches his hand. The touch jolts him. She removes her hand. He steps in (after a jolt?), wraps his arms around and rubs her back (whaaaat?) and brushes his lips against her hair.

This is supposed to move the romance along, and while it occurs on page 94 and the reader is hoping  something will happen, it felt a little over the top for people who are basically strangers. And how did Bethanne know his lips brushed against her hair? Because if she didn't know, a kiss didn't happen for her, and romance takes two.

The book takes us from Washington to Florida, people over sixty fall in love, a civil war button gives us a history lesson, a teenager gets suckered into an Andy Williams concert, the characters savor the gambit from lemonade, orange juice to wine and champagne, the story ends at a wedding (not Bethanne's), and everyone comes to terms with regrets about how they've lived their lives.

Other than that one kiss, and really it was lips on hair, not really a kiss, the story was entertaining and an enjoyable read.

Purchase through our affiliate link, and referral fees donated to Woman of Wonder, a college scholarship fund for women.

Print Length: 334 pages


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