by Juliette Fay
From the back cover:
Four months after her husband's death, Janie LaMarche remains undone by grief and anger. Her mourning is disrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival of a builder with a contract to add a porch onto her house. Stunned, Janie realizes the porch was meant to be a surprise from her husband—now his last gift to her. As she reluctantly allows construction to begin, Janie clings to the familiar outposts of her sorrow—mothering her two small children with fierce protectiveness, avoiding friends and family, and stewing in a rage she can't release. Yet Janie's self-imposed isolation is breached by a cast of unlikely interventionists: her chattering, ipecac-toting aunt; her bossy, over-manicured neighbor; her muffin-bearing cousin; and even Tug, the contractor with a private grief all his own. As the porch takes shape, Janie discovers that the unknowable terrain of the future is best navigated with the help of others—even those we least expect to call on, much less learn to love.
This is a new author to me and one that I will definitely be reading more of in the future. This book was truly a great read. I enjoyed how the author went between entries of Janie's journal and then back to the story. I loved Janie's character and even loved her when she would get pissed off and throw a fit. She misses her husband so much that she is drowning in the day-to-day monotony of life. With the help of her cousin and aunt, plus a few other characters you will get to know, she manages to hold on and make it through that first year of grieving. I found myself rooting for her, wanting her life to be good, wanting her to heal and to start enjoying the life she now had, one without her beloved husband Robby. Her oldest child, Dylan, will make you laugh, smile, and tug at your heartstrings. Fay has captured an old soul with this precious character. An added bonus to this book is an outstanding Author Insights Q&A, recipes (very cool!), questions for discussions for a book club (this would make for a fantastic book club read!!) and a funny story about how this book ended up all over I-89 in Vermont. If you're looking for a good book with a heartfelt story then I would totally recommend this to you.
You can visit the author, Juliette Fay here.