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St. Martin’s Press
June 30, 2020
Livia has been dreaming about throwing herself a 40th birthday party since forever—well, at least since she didn’t get the wedding she wanted so many years ago. But the big day is finally here, and everything is perfect. The only small hiccup is that Livia’s daughter, Marnie, can’t attend, since she’s living abroad. And even though Marnie’s husband, Adam, is disappointed that his (secretly favorite) child won’t be in attendance, he’s more than happy to support Livia. He may even have a surprise or two up his sleeve. In the midst of party chaos, however, what Livia and Adam don’t know is that they both are keeping secrets about Marnie from each other. They’re about to have an unfortunate “gift of the Magi” situation, and there will be dire consequences.
There was just so much about this book that I couldn’t get behind. First, Livia is obsessed with this party in a way that I can’t imagine any 40-year old mother of two to be. Why there would be so much pomp and circumstance over this event is beyond me. In fact, Adam’s motivation for not revealing his HUGE AND TERRIFYING secret is that he wants his wife to have fun at her party. There is a zero percent chance that a husband would keep this secret from his wife.
Livia’s secret is a bit more believable, but the reveal takes forever, and I was bored and irritated by the time I finally understood what was happening.
The only thing I really liked about this book was the evolution of Adam’s relationship with his son. It was very heartfelt, and I liked how it progressed and where it ended up.
Otherwise, this was a meh read at best. Probably not my best introduction to the author.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Net Galley for the ARC!