Ali McAdams is a young woman who thought she had it all. She was engaged to the man she loved and they worked together in a thriving family dental practice. But fate had other ideas and Ali’s world fell apart. In the wake of her grief, she visits her father in Napa to escape her painful memories – and to heal. Visiting her dad at Napa Estates, the retirement Community where Ali’s dad moved after her mother’s death, is hard because it doesn’t feel like home. After Ali meets his bridge partner, Edie, she becomes intrigued by the woman’s mysterious past.
Edie is ninety-four years old and not exactly friendly toward Ali. Yet there’s something about Ali that piques Edie’s curiosity. After a very rough beginning, the women share their stories of lost love and grief. Ali reluctantly becomes interested in Edie’s handsome great nephew, Craig – much to the older women’s chagrin. Ali’s quest to heal her broken heart and understand the mysteries of Edie’s early life leads her to Germany, where she tries to understand the tragic events of the past. Will bringing closure to Edie help Ali to move on with her life?
I love Jane Porter books. I’ve read all of her women’s fiction novels and I’ve been eager to get my hands on this one. It’s You is a little different than Porter’s past novels. There’s a lingering sadness throughout the book, with grief being a central theme of the story. Several of the characters have experienced loss and one of the primary settings of the story is a retirement home. Some of the residents are quite elderly and/or impaired.
Ali’s loss was tragic, and her reaction to it is realistically portrayed. Her grief causes her to question everything in her life. And after meeting Edie, she transfers her grief as a defense mechanism. Ali hasn’t fully dealt with her own anger and guilt, instead she focuses on with Edie’s story of loss. I must admit, I didn’t quite understand her obsession with Edie’s story at first. I had an “aha” moment when Edie herself pointed out the similarities of their tales. I was intrigued by the historical subplot in the book. I’ve always been very interested in World War II, but knew very little about the German resistance. In fact, I spent over an hour on Google after reading Edie’s diary, learning more about the movement.
It’s You is an extremely well written, emotional, and resonating story of grief and with an ending that isn’t traditionally happy and neat. But it did give me hope, especially for a sequel! For fans of Porter’s Brennan Sisters Trilogy, you’ll be delighted with a number of guest appearances.