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The Love Story of Missy Carmichael

Cover: 'The Love Story of Missy Carmichael '

Staff Review: "The Love Story of Missy Carmichael " by Beth Morey

★★★★

Missy Carmichael is admittedly depressed. She spends nearly every day alone inside her London home, rarely venturing out and almost never engaging with strangers. She’s estranged from her daughter, and her son lives across the globe in Australia, leaving her with virtually no social connections whatsoever.

While at the park one day, Missy meets Sylvie, a cheery, optimistic neighbor; and Sylvie's friend Angela, a journalist who is raising her young son, Otis, alone. Sylvie and Angela invite Missy for coffee and try to coax her out of her bubble of self-imposed isolation, which Missy initially resists. When Angela asks Missy to watch over a friend’s dog for a few months, Missy reluctantly agrees.

Through her friendship with Sylvie and Angela, and her care for the dog, Bob, Missy is introduced to a whole new circle of friends and surrogate family members. Her depression lifts, she reconnects with her daughter, and feels a renewed sense of purpose. But Missy’s omnipresent sense of self-doubt continually creeps into her mind, making her question just how long it’ll all last.

This novel alternates back and forth between 2016, when the story is set, and Missy’s younger years, from her childhood in World War II-era England through her early married life. Through this style of narrative, it is slowly revealed how Missy and her daughter fell on bad terms and what happened to Missy’s husband, Leo. I really enjoyed the characters of this book and following Missy’s journey as she gains confidence and experiences a personal renaissance at the age of 79. This was an entertaining read, and one I think fans of Jojo Moyes’ novels or Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove would especially like.

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

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