Friday, April 1, 2016

The Ones Who Matter Most, by Rachel Herron

Berkley Publishing Group, ISBN 9780451476760, April 2016

Abby is a new widow, with somewhat conflicted feelings. She had recently discovered that after her third miscarriage, Scott had had a vasectomy, while continuing to pretend they were seriously trying for a child. Feeling hurt and betrayed, she had just told him she wanted a divorce.

He walked away, went into the bathroom, and died of an aneurysm.

Fern is a struggling single mother of an eleven-year-old boy. Her husband, Matty's father, left her, simply left without a word, a couple of hours after Matty was born. She works as a bus driver, and scrimps to pay the mortgage on her home. Her ex's father, Wyatt, chose his grandson over his son, and he and his girlfriend Elva live with her and Matty, and pay rent, which helps make ends meet. The checks her ex has been sending also make a significant difference.

Fern's ex was Abby's husband, Scott.

Abby didn't know Fern and Matty existed; she finds out going through Scott's papers after his death. Scott had also told her that his father was dead.

And Abby feels guilty and angry that Scott left everything to her and nothing to his son and ex-wife, while Fern resents anything that even vaguely looks like charity.

Abby and Fern are in for a rocky ride over the next few months, coping with Scott's death, his lies, and their mutual discovery of each other. Abby still badly wants a family; Fern jealously guards the safety and privacy of her own little family.

This is an interesting, complicated, thoroughly modern family, finding its way to healing as both women are broken out of their comfort zones and forced to deal not only with each other, but with their separate insecurities. I found it very compelling.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.