One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.
Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There's only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn't necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.
With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter--a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was--Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.
But as some relationships crumble around her, others unexpectedly strengthen. Balancing loss and opportunity, a dark event from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise...and the chance to begin again.
This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
"Sometimes it takes a few years before you understand what you're worth. And who's worth your time."
It's official. I have found my first five-star read of the year. And so well-deserved, too. I don't know how to review this book that would give it justice. It was hopeful, heartwarming and breaking, funny, and oh so beautiful. I'm so happy I got to read the chance to read this. I'll let you in on a secret—I'm tearing up a little as I'm writing this review. Not because this was a total tearjerker or anything, but because Now That You Mention It was a story that touched my heart and soul.
It was a second chance for Nora Stuart to bring back the color in her now gray life. After leaving her small hometown in Maine fifteen years ago on a scholarship to Tufts and eventually becoming an amazing doctor, Nora finds her way back home. A little time to heal and regroup after getting hit by a van and seeing—or more like hearing as she's lying on a hospital bed—her boyfriend flirting with some woman, she says. Maybe it's her chance to reconnect with her mother and the daughter of her estranged sister, Lily.
I was hooked from the first paragraph. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it was so, so good. Just from that, I devoured each page without skipping a word. The writing was fantastic—the humor on point, the pacing just right, Nora's voice loud and clear. We have endearing characters, characters who made me want to throat punch them, and characters who didn't seem to fit in just one box. They're real, and so were the feelings this book brought to me.
I absolutely adore and admire Nora. After going through so much, she's still standing strong and still not jaded by it. That she still came back to a town with people who didn't treat her right, with most people who didn't give her even the barest of respect, and managed to smile at them and not shove in their faces how far she's come shows a lot about her character. She thought about doing it, of course. What human wouldn't? But she didn't, and I admire her so much for it. She has so much compassion, empathy, and consideration for others. And she never gave up; not with her mother, not with her sister, not with Poe.
And her romance with Sullivan, although not the priority of this book, felt so right. The hopeless romantic in me would have loved to see more of them, but you know what, I'm still pretty happy with everything. If there are two people who would just fit one another, it's those two. They're kindred spirits, I swear.
There was the mystery about her father, the Big, Bad Event, what turned Nora and Lily's relationship sour that made me keep on reading this. There were also amazing characters that added even more color not just to Nora's life, but to the whole book. We have Nora's mother, her niece Poe, Audrey, Xiaowen, Sullivan, and Nora's adorable dog, Boom, to name a few. But there was also that feeling of rooting for Nora and wanting to see her finally tie all those loose ends keeping her from seeing color. That feeling stayed with me from start to finish.
I recommend this to anyone who needs to laugh, cry, and hope. Because that's exactly what I got when I read Now That You Mention It.
Tropes: Small Town
POV: First Person, Female POV