Hello to my bookish friends! How’s your 2021 reading going so far? I’m starting off slow, but so far, better than 2020. I just finished my third book of the year.
Family for Beginners by Sarah Morgan is a novel about the joys and trials of family. Here’s the publisher’s description:
New York florist Flora Donovan is living the dream, but her bubbly optimism hides a secret. She’s lonely. Orphaned as a child, she’s never felt like she’s belonged anywhere…until she meets Jack Parker. He’s the first man to ever really see her, and it’s life changing.
Teenager Izzy Parker is holding it together by her fingertips. Since her mother passed away a year ago, looking after her dad and little sister is the only thing that makes Izzy feel safe. Discovering her father has a new girlfriend is her worst nightmare—she is not in the market for a replacement mom. Then her father invites Flora on their summer vacation…
Flora’s heart aches for Izzy, but she badly wants her relationship with Jack to work. As the summer unfolds, Flora must push her own boundaries to discover parts of herself she never knew existed—and to find the family she’s always wanted.
A couple of years ago I read Sarah Morgan’s One Summer in Paris, and I was hooked on her work. She writes heartwarming stories with beautiful, real characters. I didn’t read nearly as much in 2020, so when I regrouped at the start of the new year, I realized I had two of Sarah’s titles in my Net Galley queue for review! (The other is a Christmas title I’m planning for the holidays later this year.) So, I knew I wanted this one near the top of the list.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Flora was a great example of a character that frustrated me at first, but when she showed growth, I really cheered for her. Little Molly was sweet, and Izzy was a completely believable teenager, who was struggling with so much and had no idea how to let others help her handle it.
The settings were enjoyable as well. Part of the novel was set in New York City, and the rest was at a lake retreat in rural England. I’m already looking forward to lake days this summer, so the descriptions of scenery and activities there were so inviting.
Other thoughts… This was a bit slower paced, but I tend to expect that of stories focused on families. There were moments at the beginning of the novel where a secret was hinted at… I did guess what that was before the reveal, but I still enjoyed the depictions of how everyone dealt with the fallout from it. And Sarah’s writing tends to draw me into the story and keep it flowing smoothly.
This was a wonderful, heartwarming book I’d rate at 4.5 stars. I’m definitely looking forward to continuing to read more by Sarah Morgan.
Friends, did you decide to do a reading challenge? I did! I’ll be working on the A to Z Challenge hosted by Megan & Crystal at Bookstacks and Golden Moms. I’ll be adding another blog post to follow my progress, so keep an eye out for that!
In the meantime, I hope 2021 is treating you well so far… happy reading!
This post contains affiliate links… please see my policies page for more details. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for a complimentary digital review copy of this title. All opinions are my own.