Mini-Review: A Happy Catastrophe by Maddie Dawson

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Marnie MacGraw and Patrick Delaney have been in love for a few years now, enough to realize that they are imperfectly perfect together. Still, there are somethings that maybe need a little attention. Marnie’s ebullient; he’s brooding. She thrives on change; he prefers stability. She sees marriage and parenthood in their future, but he can’t see beyond the shadow of an earlier tragedy.

Then an eight-year-old surprise from Patrick’s past shows up on their doorstep, cartwheeling into their lives and spinning things in all directions. While it’s not exactly the change she envisioned, it looks like instant family to Marnie. But Patrick, afraid of being hurt again, retreats further into himself. Suddenly, two very different pieces of a beautiful puzzle find it harder and harder to fit. How can Marnie trust in the magic of the universe when it seems to be doing its best to knock her off her feet?

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Source: NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing          Rating: 4/5 stars

The Bottom Line:  From time to time, I come across a story that just makes me angry and this story certainly did just that.  Outside of Marni, there isn’t an adult in this book who deserves the awesomeness known as Fritzie Peach Delaney, a wildly intelligent (probably too smart for her own good!) eight-year-old whose mother has dropped her into the hands of two strangers so she can run off for a year with her lover.  Fritizie’s bio-dad, Patrick, had no idea of her existence until the moment she shows up in his living room and he has less than zero interest in her or her existence.  Only Marni, Patrick’s long-suffering girlfriend has any real interest in Fritzie and her happiness.  The entirety of this book is the story of Fritzie and how a young child has more sense, more love, more compassion, more care, and more intelligence than most of the adults in her life.  I found Fritzie to be the hero of this read while the adults (outside of Marnie) were generally pathetic humans without the sense that God gave a goose.  With that being said, I still liked this book because of Fritzie and Marnie.  Between those two, the world seems to swivel back onto its axis as they right their own lives and knock some sense into the other adults in their respective lives.  Fritzie is such a spectacular personality that even when she isn’t in a scene, her personality is still shining through and that brought me so much pleasure.  It isn’t often that I am mad at so many characters yet still completely enjoy a book, but that is exactly what has happened here.  I see this book as a challenge and find it one I can solidly recommend.

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