February 19, 2018

Things to Do When It's Raining by Marissa Stapley

Two families are torn apart by secret pasts and broken hearts—from Globe and Mail-bestselling author Marissa Stapley.

When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it?

Mae Summers and Gabriel Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence river. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lilly and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up, got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets stand in the way of this unconventional family’s happiness. Will they be able to reclaim the past and come together, or will they remain separate islands?

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a powerful story about guilt, forgiveness and the truth about families: that we can choose them, just as we choose to love.

Things to Do When It's Raining is a more somber story. It touches on a lot of mental health issues as well as that of abuse. Mae and Gabriel are brought back together to their childhood home out of coincidence--or is it fate? Together, they help each other fight through the trials life has thrown at them and together they heal and try to forge a path together. It's not a cheery, rosy tale but a very real one that is tough to sit through at times. The point of view works well, the story is there, but I felt like it could be flushed out that much more. There was a lot about their past, how Mae's and Gabriel's parents (and grandparents) lives were intertwined and how it affected Mae and Gabriel's childhood and relationship. I think, at times, I felt like I wanted to know more, though--like what happened with Mae's fiance and more about Mae's grandparents' own tumultuous relationship. I found bits of the book slower moving but was still a good read--definitely not your average,  lighthearted read.

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