THE OPPOSITE OF MAYBE
by Maddie Dawson
Broadway/Crown Random House
April 08, 2014
E-Book, Trade Paperback Pages: 400
Galley provided by Publisher for Review, No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein are my own except as noted.
Jonathan and Rosie have been together so long they finish each other’s sentences—so when he (finally) proposes and asks her to move across the country with him, everyone is happily surprised.
But when things suddenly unravel, Rosie sends Jonathan packing and moves back home with Soapie, the irascible, opinionated grandmother who raised her. Now she has to figure out how to fire Soapie’s very unsuitable caregiver, a gardener named Tony who lets her drink martinis, smoke, and cheat at Scrabble.
It’s meant to be a temporary break, of course—until Rosie realizes she’s accidentally pregnant at 44, completely unequipped for motherhood, and worse, may be falling in love with Tony, whose life is even more muddled than hers. When Soapie reveals a long-hidden secret, Rosie wonders if she has to let go of her fears, and trust that the big-hearted, messy life that awaits her just may be the one she was meant to live. random house
Sometimes we won’t see that which is directly in front of us. Or, things might be so comfortable we ignore it. Then it’s a Humpty Dumpty situation when it does break: you can try to put it back together but chances are it’s not going to work. The story is about relationships, comfortable and not, familial and other, good and bad. It can be sad, funny, sweet and sexy.
The tendency would be to blame the man, Jonathan, in this situation, and he is a little slow in his understanding. But, Rosie is just as much to blame. She knows who Jonathan is but is constantly trying to make him out to be someone he just is not.
Jonathan collects ancient and antique teacups and those are really the only things he treats with care. He never understands his relationship and expectations.
While her grandmother, Soapie, is a little selfish and, unlike most stories, was not the sweet granny raising Rosie after her mother’s death. She minded having to raise Rosie but she did it. Soapie is a tough one, but she sees Jonathan and Rosie for what they are, and that the relationship is not working.
And, Soapie is ‘of an age’ has a bunch of health issues, with worrisome events and crises. These crises force the comfortable situation to maybe not be so comfortable anymore. Facing reality is often not easy, and change is the preference of the very few.
I would categorize it more as women’s fiction with romance than pure romance. It’s a little steamy, in an almost comical way. It is a little slow but well-written with solid character development. Even though it used pregnancy, one of my least favorite plot devices, it also allowed me to easily do a “what would I do in this situation: stay or go, marry or not?
If you don’t mind a little (very) bit of sex, and like to read about characters who life goes topsy turvy in the normal ways of life (job, kids, elderly parents) rather than through things like plane crashes. then this novel about fairly ordinary people deserves a spot on your list.