Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Opposite of Maybe

Title:  The Opposite of Maybe
Author:  Maddie Dawson
Publication Information:  Broadway Books. 2014. 400 pages.
ISBN:  0770437680 / 978-0770437688

Book Source:  I received this book as a publisher's galley through Edelweiss free of cost in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Blogging for Books!

Favorite Quote:  "You just have to remind yourself of what's important. What's really important. I wanted her to be happy. That's what loving somebody is. It's not just the easy parts."

Based on the description of this book, I viewed it as a quick, light summer read. Jonathan and Rosie have been a couple for many years; they have never seen the need to get married or have children. Soapie is Rosie's grandmother, a vibrant woman who raised Rosie. Tony is Soapie's young and handsome caretaker.

Rosie breaks up with Jonathan and moves in with Soapie and Tony, only to find herself pregnant with Jonathan's child. Life gets messy, as it has a tendency to do. What choices will Rosie make?

As I said, based on the description, it sounds like a quick read without much substance or depth - a perfect summer read. That turns out to true to some extent. The story ends exactly where I thought. The characters really don't develop through the story. Each one has one main character trait that is consistently displayed throughout.

Yet, I found myself drawn into the story. The central theme of finding love - in the myriad of forms that it exists - brings cohesion and a greater depth to this story. The crux of the book is to depict love - what it is even when it differs from what you expect, what it is not, and how it can exist in different forms - through a variety of relationships.

Take Rosie and Soapie's relationship. Rosie lost her mother at a young age. Soapie raised her. Soapie is not your typical warm and fuzzy grandmother; yet, she completely changes her life to provide safety and a home for Rosie. That is her expression of love even when it is not what Rosie thinks she needs or wants.

Take Rosie and Jonathon's relationship. They have been together for years. They often profess their love for each other through their words. Do those words translate into loving actions? Is it love? Is it a true commitment? Or is it just a comfortable habit they have both gotten into?

Take Rosie's relationship with her long dead mother. Since her mother died when Rosie was young, Rosie feels that love missing in her life. When she learns more about her mother's death, it raises further questions about that love and what it means for Rosie as an adult.

Take Rosie's relationship with Tony. Is it friendship? Is it something more? Where lies the line between friendship and something more? What impact does it have on a relationship when both exist?

Take Soapie's relationship with George. They have known each other for a long time and share a long history. At this late stage of their lives, they offer each other understanding, companionship, and love despite the other commitments in their lives.

Take Tony's relationship with his ex-wife. They share a child and a love for that child. Is that enough to keep their relationship amicable? Can they put aside their differences for the sake of that shared love?

Take Rosie's relationship with her baby even before the baby is born. Where does that fierce love and protective instinct come from?

For an easy read, the book provided a lot to think about. Even though the story is told through one dimensional characters, the relationships in it draw me in, making me laugh and cry.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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