Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly, a review by Sherry

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Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly
Marie Bostwick

356 pages
William Morrow
published May 30, 2023

Amazon | Goodreads

With a name and a cover like that, how could I pass on reading this one?  This might be the perfect start to summer read.  I do love the message of the book that sometimes by failing you end up exactly where you are meant to be.  It has one of my favorite things, a book in a book.  Well, a little bit.  Or maybe that is meant to be a little bit of a dual timeline.  And a hint of magical realism, but only a hint that you might not even notice.  I was a little sad that there wasn’t a little more but I really did fall so much into this book, that it really didn’t matter.

I really liked Esme and rooted her to succeed.  She was forced into a change in her life and found success.  I am such a believer in fate and destiny, so maybe it was all supposed to happen.  I really could picture the lake resort.  And while I sad about Esme’s grandmother, I found a quite loved her grandfather.  Such a spunky man.  While I mentioned the book in the book, there are also a few sub plotlines that really bring this one together. In addition to Esme’s rise to greatness, there is a second chance with her mother and what her grandmother did when she first arrived in Asheville.

Esme’s charm and spunk are almost catching.  There was a lot of talk about delicious food and this one even brought out a little bit of emotion in me.  But don’t worry, not too much.  This was a breath of fresh air read for me.  I am a thriller junkie at heart, but this one reminded me I do have a heart.

Whether you are a fan of second chances, southern fiction, or just great characters, you should be reading this one.  Thanks to UpLit Reads and William Morrow for bringing this one to my attention.  While this is my first Marie Bostwick book, this is not going to be my last.


About the book

Esme Cahill thinks she has failed spectacularly: fired from her New York City publishing job, divorced from her husband, and possessing little more than a broken-down car and a pile of unfinished manuscripts, she drives home to Asheville at the request of her late grandmother, Adele, who had begged her, just before she died, to return to the place she grew up.

There she discovers the once-charming lakeside retreat run by her family is sliding toward financial ruin, so with the help of her grandfather, George; estranged mother, Robyn; and a travelling chef Dawes (maker of the world’s best grilled cheese sandwich) they set to work. In the attic, Esme unearths a trove of museum-worthy art quilts, sewn by Adele. Piecing together the inspiration behind them, Esme discovers a forgotten chapter in her family history and her grandmother’s untold story, that of a gifted artist who never received her due.

This is an always-emotional, sometimes humorous, very human novel of what it means to be family—the ties that bind us together and the unintentional hurts that can rend us apart. And, along the way, Esme learns that failure can be the first step toward the life you’re meant to find.

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