A GIRL’S GUIDE TO MOVING ON
New Beginnings, Book 2
February 23rd 2016
Published by Ballantine Books
When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.
Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.
An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this powerful and uplifting novel, a mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over. Leaning on each other, Nichole and Leanne discover that their inner strength and capacity for love are greater than they ever imagined.
I chose to read this book because of the title, and then the blurb on the inside cover. Women building each other up while going through divorce is not new, but two women forming a close bond through divorce when one of those women is divorcing the other ones cheating son is. That is what drew me to this book. This book is the second in the series, which I didn’t know when I purchased this one. It can be read as a stand alone though. The first book, Last One Home, is Cassie’s story. Cassie is Nichole’s sister. So if you are a stickler for reading books in order, I would start with that one.
When Nichole finds out her husband Jake has been cheating on her, she knows what she has to do. If there is one thing she is not putting up with, it is cheating. She does not intend on waiting around for her husband to change, afterall his father has been cheating on his mother with different women for 35 years. Why would the son be any different. So she files for a divorce, and moves out.
Leanne (Jake’s mother) has known her husband, Sean, was cheating on her for over 35 years now, but she stayed in the marriage. Although they have been living together in name only for the last 25. They kept up appearances in public, and everyone has assumed they were a happy, married couple. But when Nichole files for a divorce, it gives Leanne the courage, and hope she needs to walk away from her marriage, and file for a divorce also.
Leanne and Nichole have become close over the years. Leanne thinks of Nichole as the daughter she never had. When each woman walks away from their cheating husbands they rent apartments in the same building, right across the hall from each other. They come up with a plan and a list to move forward with their lives, and call it ‘A Guide to Moving On’. On the list there is three things in order to achieve this, #1 Don’t allow yourself to wallow in your pain. Reach out. Volunteer. Do something you love or something to help others. #2 Cultivate new friendship, and #3 Let go in order to receive. I expected there to be more than those three things, but I suppose those three were enough.
Nichole starts substituting as a teacher at the local school, and volunteers a few days a week at ‘Dress for Success’. She meets Rocco when he comes to tow her broke down car, and the two form an unlikely friendship. Leanne volunteers to teach English as a second language, and that is where she meets Nikolai. He is one of her students, and fast becomes her favorite.
The story is told from each woman’s point of view, with each woman telling their story in alternating chapters. I liked that, and it worked with this story. I enjoyed seeing Nichole bloom, and get her confidence back. My favorite chapters were those of Nicholes. I liked how her and Rocco’s friendship was slow building. Rocco was my favorite character in the whole book. He is rough around the edges, and doesn’t try to be something that he is not. I like men that are a little rough around the edges, and say what they mean.
The relationship between Nikoli and Leanne was nice and sweet. The author did a great job with Nikolai’s voice. He spoke broken english, and often took what was said literally, which made me chuckle. His and Leanne’s relationship was sweet. I like how both women grew throughout the story. At times it was frustrating though, because they let their exes get away with things most would not. I kept wanting both women to get more of a backbone and stand up to these men that treated women as sex objects and nothing more. I mean who cooks and cleans for a man that cheated on her for 35 years!
The ‘cheating’ ex husbands change a little throughout the story, and there is a small amount of redemption. I won’t say anymore on that, because I don’t want to give anything away. It just seemed like for me it was a little too late.
The story was a little slow at times. I didn’t finish the book with any ‘Ah Ha’ moments or profound insight., but it was a nice and sweet read. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, and I am not sure if I will read the first book in the series. We will see. For die hard Debbie Macomber fans I am sure you will like it.