Thursday, January 30, 2020

St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets by Annie England Noblin

My last read of January. I finished it at about 2:30 this morning, after falling asleep by 9 PM and then being WIDE awake in the middle of the night. Apparently I'd had enough sleep.  I suspect I'll be on the downslide by about 10 AM this morning. Just in time for my second round of coffee. 

This was a quick read, and I wasn't quite sure where it was headed as I was reading about Maeve and her new life in a small town. It felt like the author wasn't quite sure which themes she wanted to focus on and I just figured it would all shake out. After all was said and done, I was happy with where the author was going and satisfied with the whole shebang. 

Maeve has just lost her job as a sports journalist (and not a very good one, as she says), and her semi-famous baseball playing boyfriend has just humiliated her with a YouTube video of him smooching on another woman. Broke, she moves back in with her parents, and contemplates her mess of a life. Everything changes when she receives a call informing her that Annabelle, her birth mother, has died. 

Annabelle lived in the small town of Timber Creek, Washington, about four hours away from Maeve's life in Seattle. Maeve, at 36, never knew her birth mother and quite honestly has a big bag of complicated feelings about her. She decides to attend Annabelle's funeral, and that is the start of Maeve's new life. 

Yes, there is the ruggedly handsome and complicated Abel (I couldn't help but see Jason Momoa in this role); Alice, Annabelle's best friend and keeper of secrets; and the ladies of the St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets. They knit sweaters for cats and dogs, and Annabelle was a founding member of the group. Maeve finds out she's inherited Annabelle's house, car, and ragamuffin cat, and what was intended as a one day trip extends into Maeve deciding to stay in Timber Creek for a few weeks. After all, she's unemployed, and doesn't want to go back to living with her parents. She's also got to come to terms with her feeling about her birth mother. A major theme in this novel explores the  often complicated feelings carried around by those who are adopted. Maeve comes from a very happy upbringing, but still feels rejected and unwanted as an adult because she was given up by Annabelle as a newborn. Will she be able to find some peace and healing living in Annabelle's hometown? 

I enjoyed this novel, and realized I have Pupcakes, another novel by this author. Give me a contemporary tale that sprinkles in a few irresistible pets, small town life, and a cast of interesting characters and I'm all in. Humor, a bit of modern romance, and an underlying theme of finding and claiming your identity all came together to create an entertaining read. If you're a sucker for dog themed novels, Annie England Noblin has even more novels with equally adorable covers:

Rating: 3/6 for a quick, entertaining read about a woman's search for her past and a chance at creating a new future for herself. If you love novels featuring pets, check out this author. I plan on reading more!

Available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audio.

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