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The Way We Weren't

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An unlikely friendship between a septuagenarian and a younger woman becomes a story of broken trust, lost love, and the unexpected blooming of hope against the longest odds. You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid? Marcie Malone didn't think she was either, but when she drives from Georgia to the southwestern shore of Florida without a plan and wakes up in a stra An unlikely friendship between a septuagenarian and a younger woman becomes a story of broken trust, lost love, and the unexpected blooming of hope against the longest odds. You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid? Marcie Malone didn't think she was either, but when she drives from Georgia to the southwestern shore of Florida without a plan and wakes up in a stranger's home, she doesn't seem to know anymore. Despondent and heartbroken over an unexpected loss and the man she thought she could count on, Marcie leaves him behind, along with her job and her whole life, and finds she has nowhere to go. Herman Flint has seen just about everything in his seventy years living in a fading, blue-collar Florida town, but the body collapsed on the beach outside his window is something new. The woman is clearly in some kind of trouble and Flint wants no part of it--he's learned to live on his own just fine, without the hassle of worrying about others. But against his better judgment he takes Marcie in and lets her stay until she's on her feet on the condition she keeps out of his way. As the unlikely pair slowly copes with the damages life has wrought, Marcie and Flint have to decide whether to face up to the past they're each running from, and find a way to move forward with the people they care about most.


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An unlikely friendship between a septuagenarian and a younger woman becomes a story of broken trust, lost love, and the unexpected blooming of hope against the longest odds. You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid? Marcie Malone didn't think she was either, but when she drives from Georgia to the southwestern shore of Florida without a plan and wakes up in a stra An unlikely friendship between a septuagenarian and a younger woman becomes a story of broken trust, lost love, and the unexpected blooming of hope against the longest odds. You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid? Marcie Malone didn't think she was either, but when she drives from Georgia to the southwestern shore of Florida without a plan and wakes up in a stranger's home, she doesn't seem to know anymore. Despondent and heartbroken over an unexpected loss and the man she thought she could count on, Marcie leaves him behind, along with her job and her whole life, and finds she has nowhere to go. Herman Flint has seen just about everything in his seventy years living in a fading, blue-collar Florida town, but the body collapsed on the beach outside his window is something new. The woman is clearly in some kind of trouble and Flint wants no part of it--he's learned to live on his own just fine, without the hassle of worrying about others. But against his better judgment he takes Marcie in and lets her stay until she's on her feet on the condition she keeps out of his way. As the unlikely pair slowly copes with the damages life has wrought, Marcie and Flint have to decide whether to face up to the past they're each running from, and find a way to move forward with the people they care about most.

30 review for The Way We Weren't

  1. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    The Way We Weren't by Phoebe Fox The Way We Weren't is such a sweet story. I can hear seventy year old Herman Flint snorting as I say that. There is nothing sweet about Flint, he not only doesn't care if you like him, he seems determined to make sure no one wants anything to do with him. People are not worth the time and trouble of acknowledging them. So Flint knew he was making a mistake when he rescued a woman who'd spend the day collapsed in from of his house. The woman is forty three year old The Way We Weren't by Phoebe Fox The Way We Weren't is such a sweet story. I can hear seventy year old Herman Flint snorting as I say that. There is nothing sweet about Flint, he not only doesn't care if you like him, he seems determined to make sure no one wants anything to do with him. People are not worth the time and trouble of acknowledging them. So Flint knew he was making a mistake when he rescued a woman who'd spend the day collapsed in from of his house. The woman is forty three year old Marcie Malone, a married career woman who, after a huge loss, realizes her marriage wasn't what she thought it was. If only she could go back to any number of points in time, if only certain things hadn't happened to her to make her realize how much she may not want to be where she is in life. She knows now that her life was just a "giving in" and ignoring those things that meant so much to her. Flint is running from his past and his mistakes, running while standing in place, in his home town where he's been except for his three years in the service. He's mired in his hurt, anger, and bitterness, and heaven help anyone who tries to disturb his reclusive life. He only cares about his books and the turtles now. Marcie impulsively drove away from her life, her heartbreak and her despondence overriding her normal, sensible, safe thinking. And now she is stuck with Flint, or rather, Flint is stuck with her, while she gathers resources to make her next move. Both Marcie and Flint are dealing with things they have tried to ignore for way too long. Both of them need to change in order to save themselves and each other. Marcie awakens in Flint all that he's closed off and tried to forget. And life with Flint, and those Marcie gets to know in this place that becomes more like a home than a place where she got stuck, awakens in Marcie the parts of her she set aside because she was afraid not to choose the safe path. This is such a hopeful, gentle story, where the risk of not taking the safest path may be the best way to live. Pub: November 9, 2021 Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! All the stars for this touching and wonderful book! Marcie is in her early 40’s and married, but isn’t happy with her life after dealing with some emotional setbacks. On a whim, she decides to skip work and drive from Georgia to Florida to see the beach. The next thing she remembers is waking up in the home of an older stranger. “You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid?” Those are Flint’s first words to this stranger on his couch. He found her passed out on the bea HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! All the stars for this touching and wonderful book! Marcie is in her early 40’s and married, but isn’t happy with her life after dealing with some emotional setbacks. On a whim, she decides to skip work and drive from Georgia to Florida to see the beach. The next thing she remembers is waking up in the home of an older stranger. “You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid?” Those are Flint’s first words to this stranger on his couch. He found her passed out on the beach in front of his house and brought her in for safety. Flint is in his 70’s, despises people, and wants to continue his quiet life with no interruptions. Despite that, he agrees to let her stay with him for a few days while she gets herself sorted out. What becomes of them is an unlikely friendship. They have both suffered through loss and sadness, and come to find that leaning on other people might not be such a bad thing after all. I absolutely loved every minute of reading this beautiful story, and fell in love with all of the characters - Marcie and Flint, plus an eclectic mix of people they come into contact with. My heart ached for both Marcie and Flint, and it warmed my soul seeing them slowly connect with each other. This story is funny and heartwarming, and sad and emotional. It’s the kind of story I didn’t want to end, and yet I couldn’t stop plowing through it because it was THAT GOOD. This is the first book I’ve read by Phoebe Fox, but it won’t be the last. I’m bummed that I am finished reading this book, but excited for other readers to get to know these folks. ❤ Thank you to Elisha at Berkley for sending me a widget of the ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 11/9/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A LAST MINUTE GIFT -- CONSIDER THIS BOOK FOR ANY ADULT WHO LOVES GREAT CHARACTERS!!!!!! *** First off I have to mention the cover, it’s gorgeous and I happen to love SEA TURTLES, more than a little!! The colors are bright and inviting, just like the story. For Marcie Malone there are BIG CHANGES COMING!! She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Will, for 25 years. They once had big plans, college for both of them, with an art school scholarship for Marcie. B ***IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A LAST MINUTE GIFT -- CONSIDER THIS BOOK FOR ANY ADULT WHO LOVES GREAT CHARACTERS!!!!!! *** First off I have to mention the cover, it’s gorgeous and I happen to love SEA TURTLES, more than a little!! The colors are bright and inviting, just like the story. For Marcie Malone there are BIG CHANGES COMING!! She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Will, for 25 years. They once had big plans, college for both of them, with an art school scholarship for Marcie. But that was then . . . . Now Marcie and Will have been married for 25 years. They both have good jobs, enough money to take trips, friends and family. They have a good relationship that perhaps is lacking the spark it once had. There are some physical and emotional setbacks for the couple and one day MARCIE HAS JUST HAD ENOUGH!! Enough of her marriage and definitely enough of her demanding and unenjoyable job as an events manager at a hotel!! She literally takes a different route on her way to work and ends up driving FROM ATLANTA TO THE COAST OF FLORIDA!! After a series of misadventures, driving around small ramshackle beach towns, Marcie ends up on the beach of Palmetto Key, dehydrated, tired and passed out on the sand. Herman Flint, is in his 70’s, has been living in this town his entire life. He has had his share of losses and prefers to keep to himself. But he sees the young woman lying on the beach for hours and hours and night is coming soon. He scoops her up and brings her into his home. He expects her to rehydrate, eat, sleep on his couch for a night and be on her way. He is suspicious of this young, well dressed woman -- what is she running from and is this trouble for him???? It’s great to see the development of friendship between these two characters and where it will take them. They both have to decide what they want at this point in their life, CONTINUE AS BEFORE OR CHART A NEW COURSE?? This is a great character driven novel with people who will make you laugh, think about your own life and make you wish that the book wouldn’t end quite so soon!! With the vivid descriptions of the ocean and sand beaches you will be planning your next winter vacation, SOON!! I can highly recommend this novel to everyone!! I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    Before: Two lines on a home pregnancy test changed the lives of Will Malone and his girlfriend, Marcie Jones, when they were just eighteen. There would be a wedding, instead of a Summer abroad, studying Art. But a miscarriage would alter their plans again. Now: Two Lines on a home pregnancy test will change the lives of Will and Marcie Malone again, at age 43. They had never gotten pregnant again, until now, and Marcie thought Will would be thrilled with the news. When he wasn’t, and things don’t go Before: Two lines on a home pregnancy test changed the lives of Will Malone and his girlfriend, Marcie Jones, when they were just eighteen. There would be a wedding, instead of a Summer abroad, studying Art. But a miscarriage would alter their plans again. Now: Two Lines on a home pregnancy test will change the lives of Will and Marcie Malone again, at age 43. They had never gotten pregnant again, until now, and Marcie thought Will would be thrilled with the news. When he wasn’t, and things don’t go as expected again, Marcie begins to reevaluate all the choices-all the compromises-she has made in the past. She gets in her car and starts driving-and ends up in Palmetto Key, Fl.-passed out on the beach of this fading beachside town. Herman Flint has two default settings-hostile or prickly. Yet, despite the fact that this seventy year old has seen bodies passed out on the sand before, he senses something different about this one, and reluctantly decides to help. He brings her inside his home and allows her to stay until she is back on her feet again. Circumstances will force her to stay a bit longer than planned, and Marcie begins to realize that she kind of likes this laid back lifestyle where the residents care more about each other, and the sea turtles, than the material things in life. And, she may even be growing fond of the grumpy Septuagenarian who took her in. Sometimes you meet people in your life at just the right time. I have always thought that I could be happy living in a beachside town with very little, so this book really resonated with me! This is a heartwarming, character driven story which will reaffirm that good people still do exist in a World that seems so cruel lately, much of the time. This doesn’t seem to be on the radar of many readers yet, but it should be! Beautiful, descriptive writing transported me to Palmetto Key, and as the tension built in the later chapters, I felt like I was right there with the characters! AVAILABLE NOW!! DON’T MISS OUT!! I would like to thank Elisha from Berkley for inviting me to read an early copy. I received a gifted copy through NetGalley and it was a pleasure to offer a candid review!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (Hiatus-Sailing around the Mediterranean)

    4.5 stars This is a beautifully well written book that will enter your soul and make you think about your life and your choices. It's the story of Marcie, a woman in her 40s who after a devastating loss, unexpectedly drives away from her life in Georgia (job, husband, etc.) and ends up in a coastal Florida town. Exhausted and bereft, she falls asleep on the beach, which is where 7oish year old curmudgeon Flint finds her and takes her into his home. Flint has his own issues, but gradually the two 4.5 stars This is a beautifully well written book that will enter your soul and make you think about your life and your choices. It's the story of Marcie, a woman in her 40s who after a devastating loss, unexpectedly drives away from her life in Georgia (job, husband, etc.) and ends up in a coastal Florida town. Exhausted and bereft, she falls asleep on the beach, which is where 7oish year old curmudgeon Flint finds her and takes her into his home. Flint has his own issues, but gradually the two begin to form a sort of alliance, yet they are both unwilling and unable to share their deepest heartaches and losses with each other. Marcie decides to stay for a bit, and reassesses her life and choices, which in turn causes Flint to take a difficult look back on his as well. I have to say that I really liked Flint throughout this book. He isn't an easy many, but his character seemed so real and genuine. Marcie, on the other hand, I found to be annoying and irritating. By the end, I could definitely see her side a bit, but I thought that she wasn't giving Will a fair shake at any time. I really get that she needed to figure out who she was, but some of her choices were just so beyond my ability to grasp and accept that it made me lose respect for her and her journey. These things are definitely signs of a great book though, because it really made me think and wonder which decisions and choices I would have made had I been in both Marcie's and Flint's shoes. And sea turtles make absolutely every book better, so props to the author for their inclusion, every time turtles were mentioned I smiled. I was fully engaged throughout the reading of this book and think it would make an excellent book for book clubs to discuss because there's so much depth here that will resonate in different ways with different readers. This is the story of love, loss, redemption, and one of my favorite themes--found family. Definitely pick this one up. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Terrie Robinson

    "The Way We Weren't" by Phoebe Fox is a beautiful story! On her way to work one morning, forty-three-year-old Marcie Malone goes past her exit and drives from Atlanta, GA to Palmetto Key, FL. Devastated by a crushing loss, Marcie can't focus or function. She's driving away from her husband, her job, leaving her comfortable life behind without a plan and nowhere to go. During his early morning walk, seventy-70-year-old Herman Flint spots Marcie in a heap on the beach. He doesn't need or want the h "The Way We Weren't" by Phoebe Fox is a beautiful story! On her way to work one morning, forty-three-year-old Marcie Malone goes past her exit and drives from Atlanta, GA to Palmetto Key, FL. Devastated by a crushing loss, Marcie can't focus or function. She's driving away from her husband, her job, leaving her comfortable life behind without a plan and nowhere to go. During his early morning walk, seventy-70-year-old Herman Flint spots Marcie in a heap on the beach. He doesn't need or want the hassle of what's happening with this woman. He'd rather be alone with his books, his coffee and his view. Why did she have to land in front of his beachfront anyway? By the time the sun goes down, Flint sees the heap is still there. He checks for a pulse, then carries Marcie inside. When she wakes in the morning, she slowly begins to piece together the previous day. As Flint listens to Marcie's story, he doesn't understand why but he agrees to let her stay under his roof temporarily. This is the moment when this improbable relationship between these two broken people begins... Such a beautiful story with heart and soul that I fell in love with right away. It continues to draw me in, hold my heart and carry me with it through this character driven story. You feel like you're standing beside them and listening to their stories as you read. The relationship that is constructed between Flint and Marcie is at the center of this story. Both are broken and unknowingly navigate towards each other. They are so different and yet experience similar uncertainties. These are depictions of real life situations revolving around forgiveness, accepting change, letting go and rebuilding a life. I'm routing for Marcie, but I have to admit, Flint is my favorite here! The old & crotchety sour-puss! We should all be so lucky to have someone like Herman Flint in our lives. I highly recommend this book to everyone who reads! It will make you laugh, cry and inspire you! And who doesn't love a book with sea turtles on the cover? All the stars! Thank you to Elisha at Berkley for a widget of this ARC through NetGalley. It has been my pleasure to give my honest and voluntary review. The expected publication date is 11/9/21.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    Do you ever feel like you want to leave your life behind and drive away without looking back? This is what Marcie Malone chooses to do. She recently had a loss in her life and the day that she has to return back to work, she decides to start driving. She gets on the interstate and leaves Georgia for sunny Florida. Herman Flint is an old man. He is a loner and doesn't interact much with anyone else. To his discontent, he finds a woman passed out on the beach in front of his home. At first, he does Do you ever feel like you want to leave your life behind and drive away without looking back? This is what Marcie Malone chooses to do. She recently had a loss in her life and the day that she has to return back to work, she decides to start driving. She gets on the interstate and leaves Georgia for sunny Florida. Herman Flint is an old man. He is a loner and doesn't interact much with anyone else. To his discontent, he finds a woman passed out on the beach in front of his home. At first, he doesn't want to get involved thinking she is just another junkie but when the woman remains in the same spot, he decides to check on her and takes her inside his house to recuperate. Marcie is confused at first to find herself in a house she doesn't recognize. Once she meets grumpy Herman, she decides to leave but then she changes her mind. She is not ready to go back to Georgia. She needs time to heal and think about what she wants for her future. Herman agrees for her to stay while she begins this new chapter in her life. This was heartwarming! I liked both of the main characters. Marcie was reinventing herself in a way. She was recognizing all the things she gave up through her adulthood and how she would like to move forward. On the other hand, Herman had closed himself to life and Marcie invading his space was the best thing that could happen to him. The addition of the turtles to the story was wonderful for someone who enjoys seeing turtle nests at the beach. Lastly, I loved the ending. It's full of hope. Cliffhanger: No 4/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sujoya

    Marcie Malone married her high school boyfriend Will at the age of eighteen when an unplanned pregnancy derailed her plans for travel and college. Sadly, she suffered a miscarriage but her marriage to Will survived and they built a life together in Georgia. Unfortunately at the age of forty –three she suffers a second miscarriage that leaves her devastated and depressed. Needing a distraction from her overall discontent with her life, work and marriage, she deliberately changes course from a wor Marcie Malone married her high school boyfriend Will at the age of eighteen when an unplanned pregnancy derailed her plans for travel and college. Sadly, she suffered a miscarriage but her marriage to Will survived and they built a life together in Georgia. Unfortunately at the age of forty –three she suffers a second miscarriage that leaves her devastated and depressed. Needing a distraction from her overall discontent with her life, work and marriage, she deliberately changes course from a work engagement and drives to Palmetto Key, Florida where a combination of her stress and pain medication causes her to lose consciousness on the beach only to be discovered by a local resident – the "prickly” and “hostile” Herman Flint who has lived in the area for over seventy years and devotes his time clearing the litter from the beachfront and keeping an eye on the sea turtles and their eggs. He isn’t the friendliest sort, lives alone and has had his share of loss and disappointments, but he helps Marcie and gives her a place to stay in his home while she recovers and sorts out her issues. As the story progresses, Flint and Marcie become friends and their conversations lead to sharing and introspection which help them both gain perspective and contemplate the decisions that have governed their respective lives. It is now up to them to decide whether they want to continue as they were or have the courage to make changes and move forward. As the narrative progresses we also meet other members of the community and witness how everyone bands together in the face of a catastrophic hurricane making its way towards them. “When your life was reduced to broken pieces, apparently the tiniest part of it that survived intact was cause for rejoicing.” Phoebe Fox’s The Way We Weren’t is a beautiful story with an interesting cast of characters. The interactions between Marcie and Flint are entertaining and insightful, humorous and emotional and so full of heart. What I particularly liked about this novel are the characterizations- nobody is perfect, everyone is flawed but has his/her redeeming qualities and comes across as real and relatable. Relationships are complicated as are human emotions – it is not necessary to depict one person in a negative light to justify why relationships fall apart. The author does a commendable job of depicting the dynamics in the different relationships among the characters in this novel - in marriage, in friendship, in family and in the community. The story highlights the importance of pause and introspection when life overwhelms, re-evaluating priorities, overcoming complacency and taking charge of one’s life. The author also sheds a light on the importance of protecting nesting beaches for the conservation of endangered sea turtles which is a very important message. Overall, this is a very well-written story that I thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely recommend.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    An unlikely friendship, the beach, some sea turtle hatchlings, and a whole lot of feels. You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid? Now there is a line. Most people start conversations a little differently but hey, one must give Herman/Flint props for getting straight to the point. He also goes out on a limb and lets a woman he doesn't know who is in need, stay at his home. Now who is the stupid one? Well, as it turns out not Flint! Marcie Malone decides one day that she needs to leave An unlikely friendship, the beach, some sea turtle hatchlings, and a whole lot of feels. You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid? Now there is a line. Most people start conversations a little differently but hey, one must give Herman/Flint props for getting straight to the point. He also goes out on a limb and lets a woman he doesn't know who is in need, stay at his home. Now who is the stupid one? Well, as it turns out not Flint! Marcie Malone decides one day that she needs to leave her life behind and drive from Georgia to Florida, goes to the beach and wakes up in Flint's home. After you leave your world behind, why not stay with a grumpy stranger???? Bad decision or smart thinking?!? Now she is staying with Flint, and she just must make sure to stay out of his way... You just know when a younger woman meets a grumpy older man that it is going to be good! This is! This is so good. It was a pleasure to read and sigh as you watch these two totally different people find out that they might have more in common than they initially thought. I enjoyed reading as they found a way to not only become friends but heal as well. As I mentioned, this book has all the feels and readers will feel many emotions while reading this. The two main characters were an instant hit with me. But, if I am being honest, Flint stole the show for me. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I am a total sucker for grumpy old men, unlikely friendships, small beach towns, and people helping people through rough times, so The Way We Weren't was a complete hit for me. Being fortunate enough to live the majority of my life in a place where we get to experience sea turtle nesting season every year, I love that the author weaved the sea turtles into the story. The characters are written in such a way that I truly grew to care for them. The author did a great job showing how one major life I am a total sucker for grumpy old men, unlikely friendships, small beach towns, and people helping people through rough times, so The Way We Weren't was a complete hit for me. Being fortunate enough to live the majority of my life in a place where we get to experience sea turtle nesting season every year, I love that the author weaved the sea turtles into the story. The characters are written in such a way that I truly grew to care for them. The author did a great job showing how one major life event can change the trajectory of one's life, and that life is about so much more than just existing. This book made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me think. I have nothing but love for this story, and it definitely has a place on my favorites shelf. 5 lovely stars!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    What I enjoyed most about “The Way We Weren’t” by Phoebe Fox is the Floridian feel to the story. The story occurs during hurricane season in Florida which also coincides with the turtle nesting season. As a west coast Florida resident, the turtle nesting season is taken very seriously around here. Ms Fox includes really good information about the season, including the sad statistic of a turtle egg making it to adulthood(about 1 in 1,000 survive to adulthood). Around 90% of all sea turtle nesting What I enjoyed most about “The Way We Weren’t” by Phoebe Fox is the Floridian feel to the story. The story occurs during hurricane season in Florida which also coincides with the turtle nesting season. As a west coast Florida resident, the turtle nesting season is taken very seriously around here. Ms Fox includes really good information about the season, including the sad statistic of a turtle egg making it to adulthood(about 1 in 1,000 survive to adulthood). Around 90% of all sea turtle nesting in the United States takes place on Florida beaches, so it is critical that residents and visitors do their part to help increase the odds of the eggs making it to adult turtles. What a great way to learn about endangered or threatened species! Additionally, Fox’s atmospheric prose showcases the Gulf Coast of Florida and beach living to life. This is a story of two people whose lives intersect unexpectedly and form an unlikely bond. Marcie Malone suffers an emotionally debilitating loss which leads her to get in her car in Georgia and just drive south. Her impulsive drive leads her to the Gulf Coast of Florida, Pinellas County to be exact. She inadvertently gets her car towed, which includes her purse, ID, money and all possessions. She collapses on the beach outside of the curmudgeon Herman Flint. The story is narrated from Marcie’s and Herman’s POV. I listened to the audio, narrated by Dorothy Dillingham Blue and Christian Baskous. Mr. Baskous is THE PERFECT voice of Herman. Ms Blue does a great job as well. I find that the narrators can bring a story to a higher level in entertainment. Those two narrators made me want to get back to my story ASAP! But I digress. Marcie is searching for meaning in her life. Herman is just living, no searching, no caring. Yet, something about Marcie tugs at his heart strings, and he reluctantly (yet fractiously) suggests that she can stay until she finds her car and purse. If made into a movie, this would be on the Hallmark Channel. That should be enough info to provide you with the idea of what the story is, or at least how it ends up. Yes, it’s about inner strength and changing the protectory of your life (for the better). The best part, for me, was the Floridian feel. There’s storm surges, turtles, and beach life. I felt like I was reading about a couple of misfits just a few miles from me. The story is sweet. It’s the narrator’s performance and the story setting that made this great for me. I recommend this as a feel-good story with a Floridian feel. Sometimes you just want a Hallmark Channel story!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    The Way We Weren’t by Phoebe Fox is a contemporary women’s fiction novel that does have a touch of romance but more about self discovery and healing. The story is told by changing the point of view between the two main characters, Flint and Marcie. Marcie Malone is in her early forties when for the second time in her life she suffers a miscarriage. Marcie and her husband of twenty five years had been teenagers when they first saw those lines on a pregnancy test. The couple married young only to l The Way We Weren’t by Phoebe Fox is a contemporary women’s fiction novel that does have a touch of romance but more about self discovery and healing. The story is told by changing the point of view between the two main characters, Flint and Marcie. Marcie Malone is in her early forties when for the second time in her life she suffers a miscarriage. Marcie and her husband of twenty five years had been teenagers when they first saw those lines on a pregnancy test. The couple married young only to lose the baby shortly after and now after a life without children it happens yet again. Marcie was scheduled to return to work but when she was in her car and on her way she missed her exit and just continued driving. The next morning Flint, a seventy year old living in a small town in Florida finds a woman lying on the beach near his home. Marcie had landed on Flint’s doorstep amid her grief and somehow finds herself forming a friendship with the stranger that saved her. The Way We Weren’t by Phoebe Fox was such a beautiful story that I found myself not able to put down. My heart ached for Marcie but then found the joy as she and Flint both healed along their journey making this one have all the feels. Of course I also loved the setting of the small neglected beach town and the residents in it, oh and of course the sea turtles! A lovely read with wonderful characters finding their paths in their lives. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    Loved this tale! Ol' Flint was quite a character. And the sea turtles :) Loved this tale! Ol' Flint was quite a character. And the sea turtles :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    This was a sadly sweet book that I had a hard time putting down. I loved the side story with the sea turtle egg. I also enjoyed the characters for the most part and even when I didn’t like them they still felt real to me. Marcie didn’t know how close to the edge she was until one day instead of going to work she ends up passed out on the beach. A grumpy old man, Flint, found her and despite knowing better brought her inside. Flint is by far I think the best part of the story. Marcie comes to rea This was a sadly sweet book that I had a hard time putting down. I loved the side story with the sea turtle egg. I also enjoyed the characters for the most part and even when I didn’t like them they still felt real to me. Marcie didn’t know how close to the edge she was until one day instead of going to work she ends up passed out on the beach. A grumpy old man, Flint, found her and despite knowing better brought her inside. Flint is by far I think the best part of the story. Marcie comes to realize that she has some work to do to figure herself out before she can return to her life and her husband. Marcie meets new people and learns about herself as she works to solve her own problems for the first time in a very long time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: Will wanted her to stay home a few more days too, not try to jump right back into routine but give herself some time “to process.” As if she were an antiquated CPU. “There’s a hundred bucks in there, and it’s in your name only,” she’d muttered from the side of her mouth like a Dick Tracy villain. He had wispy white hair that danced back and forth on top of his head under the fan, like a line of anemic hula girls. Marcie was accustomed to the meager wavelengths of his emotional spect Favorite Quotes: Will wanted her to stay home a few more days too, not try to jump right back into routine but give herself some time “to process.” As if she were an antiquated CPU. “There’s a hundred bucks in there, and it’s in your name only,” she’d muttered from the side of her mouth like a Dick Tracy villain. He had wispy white hair that danced back and forth on top of his head under the fan, like a line of anemic hula girls. Marcie was accustomed to the meager wavelengths of his emotional spectrum— he had two settings, hostile and prickly… … it was like wading into a sponge, the air so moist and warm and heavy it felt like someone else’s exhaled breath. Get over here and hydrate, Herman, before you shrivel the rest of the way up. My Review: Even though the writing was well seasoned with angst, which isn’t on my list of favorite things, I didn’t seem to mind a bit as the storylines squeezed my heart and kept me fully engaged and heavily invested. I was so deeply immersed in Ms. Fox’s perceptive storytelling that, SMH, for a hot moment I felt the need to start making my own preparations for the incoming hurricane the characters were expecting. Sigh, she sucked me right into their tale of familial woe and regrets, which were fretfully real and relatable. Marcie had been enjoying a good life but it was one of acquiescence rather than one of her choosing, and don’t we all do that to some extent? She didn’t realize she wasn’t satisfied with the way things were until she experienced a personal trauma and went off the rails, and this is where her adventure begins. It wasn’t an easy beach vacation, but she found pieces of herself, took some thoughtless risks, and was helped by a cranky and cantankerous old coot who had more layers than an egg farm. I alternated between adoring him and wanting to give him a few smacks with my Kindle. Once again, Ms. Fox’s writing was uncannily insightful, itchy, and shrewdly paced. She stealthily slotted me into her characters’ tale and had me digging in the sand while rescuing turtle eggs, dancing rave style, serving beer in a dive bar, and digging out of a hurricane. I’m not used to this much activity, I need a spa day to recover.

  16. 5 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    It was time to look forward, not backward. Sometimes you had to let go of some things to discover others. What a delightful book about an unexpected friendship. Endearing, whimsical and humourous this book ticked all the boxes for me. I just loved this story so much, these characters stole my heart, even the secondary ones, and the plot sucked me in right away. I felt for Marcie and Jessie, especially as I was very young when I had my first child (17). Making life changing decis It was time to look forward, not backward. Sometimes you had to let go of some things to discover others. What a delightful book about an unexpected friendship. Endearing, whimsical and humourous this book ticked all the boxes for me. I just loved this story so much, these characters stole my heart, even the secondary ones, and the plot sucked me in right away. I felt for Marcie and Jessie, especially as I was very young when I had my first child (17). Making life changing decisions is never easy, making them alone is harder. I love quirky books and this also had a wonderful setting on the shore, in Florida and really felt like I was there. The book cover is brilliantly beautiful and so is the inside. This is my first read by Phoebe Fox but it won't be my last. All. The. Stars. With many thanks to NetGalley, Phoebe Fox and Berkley Publishing Group for the giving of the ARC. #TheWayWeWerent #NetGalley

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    WOW LOVED THIS! Life is a series of choices..... After 25 years of marriage, Marcie & Will Malone find themselves pregnant for the second time. While still in high school their first pregnancy made them teenage newlyweds. Their lives changed direction again after they miscarried and Will went off to college while Marcie supported them both. How will they handle the upcoming changes to their life plans with a third person joining them? Marcie makes a snap decision to take a break from her life, lea WOW LOVED THIS! Life is a series of choices..... After 25 years of marriage, Marcie & Will Malone find themselves pregnant for the second time. While still in high school their first pregnancy made them teenage newlyweds. Their lives changed direction again after they miscarried and Will went off to college while Marcie supported them both. How will they handle the upcoming changes to their life plans with a third person joining them? Marcie makes a snap decision to take a break from her life, leaving Will at home while she heads to a beach and meets Flint. The way each character handles their own life and how it affects others is a great journey. This book gives the reader a lot of things to think about if you choose to reflect on your own choices and not just those of the characters. I am still cheering on Marcie, Will and Herman Flint long after 'the end'. Release date Nov 9, 2021

  18. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    After A Little Bit of Grace made it to my 2020 favorites list, I was more than eager to read this novel, as I knew what Phoebe Fox was capable of. While this story is different from Grace, she didn't disappoint. The Way We Weren't is narrated by two characters: Marcie, a woman in her early forties who suddenly decides to escape from her life and ends up on a beach in Florida, and Flint, the man who rescues Marcie from the beach and has regrets that make him angry and closed off from everyone aro After A Little Bit of Grace made it to my 2020 favorites list, I was more than eager to read this novel, as I knew what Phoebe Fox was capable of. While this story is different from Grace, she didn't disappoint. The Way We Weren't is narrated by two characters: Marcie, a woman in her early forties who suddenly decides to escape from her life and ends up on a beach in Florida, and Flint, the man who rescues Marcie from the beach and has regrets that make him angry and closed off from everyone around him. This makes the interaction between these characters rather tense at times, as Marcie is often trying to navigate Flint's mood and he doesn't want to admit that he needs her around. Marcie's own life is complicated, as she just left her husband and job behind to nurse her feelings after a traumatic event. Toss in a nosy neighbor, an attractive artist, a stash of old letters, and an endangered turtle nest to the mix and there's quite a lot to unpack! This novel was engaging and enjoyable. I had no idea what would happen for the characters and there were a lot of surprises along the way. I felt like I was along for the ride, even though it was bumpy at times. The dialogue was witty and snappy and worked well with the storyline. Characters and settings were easy to visualize. Overall, it's a comforting story about an unlikely friendship that will stick with you after you have finished. Movie casting suggestions: Marcie: JoAnna Garcia SwisherFlint: Treat WilliamsIsobel: Sonia BragaWill: Mike VogelJeff: Matthew Gray GublerDarla: Melora Walters

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janine

    An incredible story about letting go and starting over. Have you ever thought about moving away and starting your life over where no one knows you? That’s what Marcie, in this book, does after she has a miscarriage. She started questioning her life and marriage to husband, Will. One day she was on her way to work and she decided to just keep on driving. Her drive took her from Georgia all the way to Palmetto Key, Florida, where she finally stopped. Flint, a long-time resident of Palmetto Key, was An incredible story about letting go and starting over. Have you ever thought about moving away and starting your life over where no one knows you? That’s what Marcie, in this book, does after she has a miscarriage. She started questioning her life and marriage to husband, Will. One day she was on her way to work and she decided to just keep on driving. Her drive took her from Georgia all the way to Palmetto Key, Florida, where she finally stopped. Flint, a long-time resident of Palmetto Key, was a cranky old man who seemed to be annoyed by everything in life. But when he found a woman asleep on the beach, he couldn’t just leave her there. He had to help her. He took her back to his house until she felt well enough to leave. But Marcie didn’t leave. She stayed, and she and Flint became friends. It was an unusual friendship, but it turned out to be a good friendship. In the end, they were able to help heal a loss in each of their lives that no one else could. This story is full of hope and inspiration, set on a tropical island with fun and quirky characters. I just wish the book was longer as I wasn’t ready to let go of these characters so soon.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    A heartwarming story of two lost people who befriend each other under the most unusual of circumstances but end up helping one another heal. If you enjoy stories of intergenerational friendships, grumpy older characters (think Ove), and middle-aged women dealing with challenges of identity and marriage, this story will be right up your ally. Throw in some endangered turtles and a hurricane, plus a hot artist and this would make an excellent beach read. Much more of a women's fiction story than a A heartwarming story of two lost people who befriend each other under the most unusual of circumstances but end up helping one another heal. If you enjoy stories of intergenerational friendships, grumpy older characters (think Ove), and middle-aged women dealing with challenges of identity and marriage, this story will be right up your ally. Throw in some endangered turtles and a hurricane, plus a hot artist and this would make an excellent beach read. Much more of a women's fiction story than a romance though so heads up for anyone making that mistake. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advance review copy. Great on audio with two narrators to voice each of the main characters. CW: miscarriage, teen pregnancy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Almost 3 stars….which means it was almost good. I’m not sure this author is for me, but I must compliment the male audiobook narration here as it was spot on!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lainey Cameron

    Marcie Malone has a life where she thinks everything is fine until one day on her way to work she gets in her car and just keeps driving until she hits the Gulf Coast. A day later, she wakes up on the beach and everything has changed. She befriends Herman Flint, a cantankerous man with a house on the beach, who does not want his own life disrupted by her arrival. Gradually they reach an easy truce, but what is Marcie truly running from, and why is she so disturbed by the life she’s built? And no Marcie Malone has a life where she thinks everything is fine until one day on her way to work she gets in her car and just keeps driving until she hits the Gulf Coast. A day later, she wakes up on the beach and everything has changed. She befriends Herman Flint, a cantankerous man with a house on the beach, who does not want his own life disrupted by her arrival. Gradually they reach an easy truce, but what is Marcie truly running from, and why is she so disturbed by the life she’s built? And now Marcie is questioning why she no longer cares about the life she thought meant everything, or even the husband who’s a core part of it. Marcie is the sort of complex, multi-faceted character I enjoy. She isn’t doing everything, or perhaps at some points most things right, and yet I loved her all the more for it. Delivered with grace and subtlety, Fox delves into important questions of what makes for a meaningful life, decisions about parenthood, why we don’t allow ourselves the risk of questioning whether we are truly happy, and why people come into our lives at the moment we need them. The evolving friendship between Marcie and Herman is a thing of beauty, and this novel left me with all the feels. Heart-warming, comforting, and ultimately joyful. This novel made me want to go out and tell the closest people in my life exactly why I need and appreciate them.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan Peterson

    Choices. We all make them; some are innocuous; some have far-reaching effects; some seem unimportant at the time but snowball into something bigger; some choices are a matter of life and death, despair or hope. When Marcie makes the choice to miss her freeway exit and keep driving, when septuagenarian Flint finds a sleeping young woman in the beach and brings her home, neither of them know how those choices will impact their future, how they will get them through the present, and how they will l Choices. We all make them; some are innocuous; some have far-reaching effects; some seem unimportant at the time but snowball into something bigger; some choices are a matter of life and death, despair or hope. When Marcie makes the choice to miss her freeway exit and keep driving, when septuagenarian Flint finds a sleeping young woman in the beach and brings her home, neither of them know how those choices will impact their future, how they will get them through the present, and how they will look back on their past.. From the very first page I was caught up in a rush of emotions, feeling the characters’ pain and regrets, their loves and their dreams. There is a raw honesty to their thoughts, their conversations, their arguments, their reluctant closeness. The story moves along with ups and downs, highs and lows, and I was there for it all. I wanted to turn pages quickly to find out where each of them were going, but I often slowed down, rereading passages that were profound and insightful, causing my heart to catch at the depth of emotions. In her author notes, Phoebe Fox mentions that it took her 15 years to fully find this story—it was worth the wait.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    This story was heartwarming, sad, and hopeful. There are so many different emotions that engage the reader and will keep them engrossed in the story. Marcie takes off driving after an incident that brings her to her knees. She doesn't know where she is going or where she will end up but she just knows she has to get away from her life to be able to breathe. She ends up in Florida, broken and lost, but perhaps that is exactly where she needed to be to heal and figure out what she wants from life. F This story was heartwarming, sad, and hopeful. There are so many different emotions that engage the reader and will keep them engrossed in the story. Marcie takes off driving after an incident that brings her to her knees. She doesn't know where she is going or where she will end up but she just knows she has to get away from her life to be able to breathe. She ends up in Florida, broken and lost, but perhaps that is exactly where she needed to be to heal and figure out what she wants from life. Flint is a curmudgeon that lives on the beach who has his own set of issues. We learn more about him as the story develops and considering where his life was heading, maybe it is a good thing that Marcie ends up crashing his life. Actually, they are both good for each other as we discover throughout the book. Each brings out the best, and maybe the worst as well. These two are unlikely housemates, but Flint takes pity on Marcie and realizes that she could have been taken advantage of in the beginning, and perhaps she needs to sort out her own demons before heading back to her real life. Marcie is a lost soul and this journey is the perfect time for her to reflect on what she wants or needs from life, her husband, and her marriage. As the story progresses, we see both Flint and Marcie take stock of their life and realize that maybe there is more than what they have right now. I enjoyed watching them grow and become more comfortable in their own skin. There are moments of levity especially when it comes to the company holding Marcie's car hostage in the impound lot. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed the portions with the sea turtles and everything that they did to save the eggs so that they could experience life. I'm not sure a lot of people would go to that much work for turtle eggs. This was a lovely story and I enjoyed every word. I felt like each character realized their own worth and took measures to ensure that life would only improve from that point. We should all be so lucky to have that sort of time to reflect. We give this book 5 paws up.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rochelle Weinstein

    I loved this story of unexpected friendship and healing. Fox's writing is just so lyrical and poignant. There's so much to learn from Herman and Marcie's journey of self-discovery. Grab this book if you're looking for quick wit and valuable life lessons. I loved this story of unexpected friendship and healing. Fox's writing is just so lyrical and poignant. There's so much to learn from Herman and Marcie's journey of self-discovery. Grab this book if you're looking for quick wit and valuable life lessons.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susan (The Book Bag)

    Right off the bat, two things about The Way We Weren't made me want to read this book. First of all was the author Phoebe Fox. I'm a huge fan of hers and have loved all of her stories. She is definitely one of my must-read authors. The second thing was this cover! Isn't is beautiful? I fell in love with it the minute I saw it and it enticed me to find out more about the story. Isn't that an amazing blue?! Well, let me tell you, the story itself blew me away. I loved everything about it! What an Right off the bat, two things about The Way We Weren't made me want to read this book. First of all was the author Phoebe Fox. I'm a huge fan of hers and have loved all of her stories. She is definitely one of my must-read authors. The second thing was this cover! Isn't is beautiful? I fell in love with it the minute I saw it and it enticed me to find out more about the story. Isn't that an amazing blue?! Well, let me tell you, the story itself blew me away. I loved everything about it! What an intriguing, compelling storyline and interesting, unforgettable characters. Such entertaining people and interactions and a story that didn't go the way that I thought it would. Marcie hops in her car one day and just keeps driving, escaping her life and wanting to figure out some things about who she is and what she wants. Discovered on the beach in pretty bad shape by the old codger Flint, she tries to make a new life for herself, even as she knows its only temporary. She has to go back to her responsibilities at some point, right? I absolutely loved the relationship between Marcie and the salty old guy, Flint. It still brings smiles to my face when I think about their interactions throughout the book and the way they treated each other. Such fun! And I loved the way that Marcie found her way in the community and earned the acceptance of the 'old timers'. Like I said, I loved everything about this book and would give it more than five stars on a five star scale. How about 5++? I'm not typically a re-reader of books but this is definitely one that I will need to pull down off the shelf at some point and enjoy again. Well done Phoebe! I highly recommend The Way We Weren't!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adele

    You know you’ve read a good book when you can’t stop thinking about the characters. The Way We Weren’t by Phoebe Fox is a wonderful story of two lost souls who stumble upon each other and an unlikely friendship is formed. As this duo begin to learn from each other about their losses, their vulnerability and their loves they begin to accept the situation they find themselves in and draw positives out of a negative situation. Marcie Malone has loved and lost a few of her dreams along the way, this You know you’ve read a good book when you can’t stop thinking about the characters. The Way We Weren’t by Phoebe Fox is a wonderful story of two lost souls who stumble upon each other and an unlikely friendship is formed. As this duo begin to learn from each other about their losses, their vulnerability and their loves they begin to accept the situation they find themselves in and draw positives out of a negative situation. Marcie Malone has loved and lost a few of her dreams along the way, this latest loss almost breaks her and she feels the need to escape the life she is currently living. Because of what was and what is might not be where she wants to be anymore. Herman Flint has lived by the beachside most of his life. He’s had a tough journey with many hurdles to jump over but when he loses the most important thing in his life he becomes a recluse. As Herman and Marcie stumble into each others lives the community of the beachside resort and the simplicity of this life brings a new perspective to both of them. Phoebe Fox had me captivated with her storytelling and I found myself rooting for all the characters in this small coastal town. A town that felt like time had stood still and the outer world had forgotten them. I adored the inclusion of the sea turtles and their plight of survival. It was wondrous, fascinating and very humbling to read about. You will fall in love with Marcie and Herman and they will hold a little piece of your heart for a long time.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara White

    When Marcie slams into a crisis in her marriage, she doesn't fantasize about running away. She gets in her car, drives to her job in Georgia, and keeps going. On less than a whim. When the road ends in SW Florida, she collapses on a beach. The misanthropic Herman Flint doesn't want to help Marcie--or anyone--but he can't leave a young woman alone on the sand, clearly in trouble. Grumbling, he not only rescues her, but takes her into his home. As Marcie begins to move beyond survival mode to prac When Marcie slams into a crisis in her marriage, she doesn't fantasize about running away. She gets in her car, drives to her job in Georgia, and keeps going. On less than a whim. When the road ends in SW Florida, she collapses on a beach. The misanthropic Herman Flint doesn't want to help Marcie--or anyone--but he can't leave a young woman alone on the sand, clearly in trouble. Grumbling, he not only rescues her, but takes her into his home. As Marcie begins to move beyond survival mode to practicalities such as getting her car out of the pound--when her purse is in the trunk--she sets events in motion that lead to a journey of self-discovery. Gradually she creates a new community and learns that Flint also acted on an impulse that irrevocably changed his life. And not for the better. What follows is the story of an unlikely friendship, making peace with the past, opening yourself to new possibilities, and saving turtle nests against all odds. The writing is beautiful, and the plot is layered with tension and emotion. THE WAY WE WEREN'T is unique, hopeful, and unforgettable.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 stars After losing something she didn’t realize she wanted, Marcie “runs away” to a small Florida seaside town. There, she develops an unlikely friendship with Herman, and together, they heal as they reconnect with parts of their pasts they believed were long gone. This book was a lovely surprise for me. I don’t recall seeing much about it when it came out last year, but my adoration for unlikely friendships drew me in. The story was funny, touching, emotional, and hopeful, and I enjoy Rating: 4.5 stars After losing something she didn’t realize she wanted, Marcie “runs away” to a small Florida seaside town. There, she develops an unlikely friendship with Herman, and together, they heal as they reconnect with parts of their pasts they believed were long gone. This book was a lovely surprise for me. I don’t recall seeing much about it when it came out last year, but my adoration for unlikely friendships drew me in. The story was funny, touching, emotional, and hopeful, and I enjoyed every second of it. Both Herman and Marcie were such wonderful characters. It took me a while to warm up to Herman, but I was eager to learn his story. Marcie, on the other hand, earned my sympathy from the very first chapter. My heart broke for her as she struggled with her immediate and past losses. She had married young, and though she loved her husband, Marcie was beginning to think that she may have given up too much of herself to make that relationship work. I felt so much for Marcie as she searched for all the parts of herself that she had lost over time, and I could really relate to fear driving many of the decisions made. Needless to say, I was a mess of emotions as Marcie worked through all of this. I was happy when she reawakened old passions, but was distraught as she contemplated the fate of her marriage. It was touch and go, but overall, I was happy with where she landed. Overall, this was a charming and heartwarming story. It filled my heart with joy that the universe brought their two wounded people into each other’s orbits, and together, they were able to face and repair parts of their past as they forged ahead to a new future. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adanna

    One morning on her way to work in Atlanta, Marcie decides she has to get away. She leaves everything -- her husband, her job, and her comfortable life. Flint finds her on the beach in Florida. He provides her with a safe place and the opportunity to figure out what she wants out of life. Wow! A touching story of loss, regret, forgiveness, and self-discovery unfolds in The Way We Weren't. Flint, Marcie, and the quirky people around them are all realistic characters; their problems are quite relata One morning on her way to work in Atlanta, Marcie decides she has to get away. She leaves everything -- her husband, her job, and her comfortable life. Flint finds her on the beach in Florida. He provides her with a safe place and the opportunity to figure out what she wants out of life. Wow! A touching story of loss, regret, forgiveness, and self-discovery unfolds in The Way We Weren't. Flint, Marcie, and the quirky people around them are all realistic characters; their problems are quite relatable. The unlikely friendship between Flint and Marcie warmed my heart. This book was a delight to read! The Way We Weren't is an excellent reminder to live life to the fullest by dwelling in the possibilities instead of fearing the unknowns. Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for an advance copy of this book.

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