Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Adult Assembly Required, by Abbi Waxman

Berkley Publishing Group, ISBN 9780593198766, May 2022

Laura Costello has left New York City and moved to Los Angeles, and is barely settled in to her new apartment when the building burns while she's out shopping.

And then it starts raining.

She takes refuge in a bookstore, and makes her first new friends. Nina the bookseller more or less adopts her, Polly decides she's the right person to fill the newly-empty room at the very eccentric rooming house she lives in. The cat that experiences her very wet clothing forgives her.

When they reach the rooming house, Maggie the owner accepts her, she gratefully accepts the room, and she meets some of her new roommates, including Impossibly Handsome Bob, who happens to have the room next to hers, and shares the bathroom with her.

Laura left New York to escape her overly protective family, the ex-fiancé who doesn't want to accept that she really means it, and to study to become a physical therapist. Oh, while recovering from a traumatic car accident that caused injuries not yet completely healed. Of course her family and the ex-fiancé can't quite accept that she's making her own decisions now.

Laura, of course, is not the only one who has some growth and recovery to go through.

Maggie has a painful and distant relationship with her daughter, and her son is just back, unexpectedly, after four years in Japan. Bob is landscaper, who has dreams of gong back to school to get degree in landscape design and make some real changes to how public land is managed, in pursuit of benefiting both the land and the people nearby. Nina is trying to make her trivia team more successful

Bob and Laura are each convinced the other only wants to be friends, even as they regularly watch baseball games together and Laura starts helping out in the house's garden. Polly and Maggie's son just back from Japan can't decide whether they're interest in each other, even as it's obvious to everyone else.

This is a story of good-hearted people trying to figure out what they want to do when they grow up. It's warm, funny, and kind.


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

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