When Maisie Meadows finds herself single and jobless on New Year’s Day, she resolves that this will be the year she focuses on bringing her scattered family back together. Romance is all very well, but it’s the people you grew up with that matter the most.
But a new job working at an auction house puts her in the path of Theo, a gorgeous but unattainable man who she can’t help but be distracted by. As their bond begins to grow, Maisie finds herself struggling to fulfill the promise she made to herself – but the universe has other ideas, and it’s not long before the Meadows family are thrown back together in the most unlikely of circumstances…
It all started with a kiss . . . .
Unfortunately for Maisie Meadows that kiss happened between her boyfriend/boss and another woman which has left Maisie without a job and without a boyfriend. With nothing but time on her hands, Maisie resolves to 1) find a job and, 2) bring her tremendously fractured family back together. Yeah, with any luck, it’s going to be a big year for Maisie Meadows.
Getting her family back together is going to be a long process so Maisie begins with the new job part of her list. With little effort, Maisie lands a new job as the marketing guru of a local auction house. From the moment she sets foot inside the auction house, Maisie feels more at home than she ever did in all the years at her old job. The auction house is filled with interesting, quirky characters, all of whom have their own unique story to tell. What’s more, the items and treasures that come into the auction house are, generally speaking, wonderful old items that have, like the employees, their own unique stories to tell. Between the employees and the auction items, Maisie’s job practically completes itself leaving her with time to worry on how to get her family back together.
Maisie’s family isn’t just fractured, they’re broken. Her mother and father can’t be in the same room as one another and often trade barbs through their children. Maisie’s beloved sister is giving up her dream of living abroad and returning to England, her other far less beloved sister has appeared on Maisie’s doorstep in need of refuge, and her brother simply can’t be bothered to return to the fold for any reason. Getting this group back together isn’t going to be easy, but Maisie is determined and has faith in her family. The problem is, Maisie is the youngest and perhaps the most naïve of the bunch and has no idea the secrets being held by her siblings and parents. As events unfold, it seems Maisie’s family is hell-bent on revealing every deep, dark secret they have and that only serves to separate them more than set them free and bring them back together.
The Bottom Line: In so many ways, Maisie Meadows reminds me of a puppy, so excited, so enthusiastic, and so naïve about the ways of the world. As Maisie’s story unfolds, she loses so much of her naivete and gains a load of maturity. With only the best intentions, Maisie learns the hard way that some things, families included are simply too broken, too angry, and too hurt to be brought back together. Furthermore, Maisie learns that not all family is blood and love is often found (and re-discovered) in the most unexpected places. The strength of this story lies in Maisie’s ability to learn from her mistakes, to be open to love, and to accept that not every goal is achievable in the way one plans for. My particular enjoyment in this book came from the very unexpected nature of the story: there are twists and turns, the past comes crashing into the present, and nothing, not even some of the characters are at all what they seem. In all, I found this standalone book to be quite enjoyable, entertaining, and wholly unexpected in the best way possible.