Esme Cahill is having a rough time. Recently fired from her publishing job in New York City, divorced, and at the end of her rope with trying to sell her manuscripts, she travels down to Asheville at the request of her late grandmother, Adele, to reconnect to her hometown and hopefully inspire her writing. Once there, she reunites with her grandfather and estranged mother and meets the handsome nomad, Dawes, who currently works for her grandfather. Esme quickly learns that the quaint, lakeside retreat run by her family is going downhill fast, so she devises a plan to help save it, and maybe write a book about the life and work of her late grandmother in the process.
This book is packed with a lot of heart in several, complicated, family relationships to the point where it felt a bit unbelievable. It’s difficult to show all the intricacies of family relationships in 300-some pages, which is why I thought there were just a few too many of them to explore thoroughly in this book. However, you really do get a sense of the hurt and complexity each of these characters bring to the table, so I appreciated the richness of the characters even though I thought there were a few too many of them.
However, I did enjoy the complexity of Esme’s character. Yes, she left the family home when she was 19 and never looked back, but the second her family is in trouble she runs home to help them. I also liked that not everything was wrapped up perfectly at the end of the book because sometimes, that’s how life is. Sometimes, all you can do is pick a path forward and see how it goes. The central theme in Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly is complicated family relationships, so if you enjoy reading about complex family dynamics, this book might be for you.
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GBC Reader Reviews