Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly

Cover of Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly by Marie Bostwick
Marie Bostwick
Nov 6, 2023

Hello and welcome to #NoWaitWednesday, where we shine a spotlight on a book in the New Release section of one of our Library branches that's just sitting there ready for a lucky patron to check it out. Since we're getting deeper into November, some of you might be looking for a title that will bring some warmth into your lives, since the winter months are growing both shorter and darker. Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly by Marie Bostwick, this week's pick, will please readers who love warm, syrupy, emotional southern fiction novels by the likes of Mary Kay Andrews, Jill Shalvis or Susan Mallery.

The novel begins with Esme believing that she has, indeed, failed spectacularly - she was recently fired from her high-profile big city publishing gig and just went through a tough divorce. In short, her life is completely different than what she expected it to be. When she hears about the sudden death of her grandmother, Adele, Esme packs her belongings and seizes on an opportunity to return to her childhood home in North Carolina to both help her family and to lick her wounds.

There, she discovers that the previously bustling lakeside resort run by her family is falling apart, bit by bit, as her grandfather is unable to keep up with repairs. Esme soon rolls up her sleeves and gets to work, not only helping her grandfather restore the small resort, but reestablishing tentative ties with her estranged mother, Robyn, with whom she has a checkered relationship and discovering that the new mysterious yet talented chef, who is living out of his van, might be more than he appears. 

She also discovers a box full of museum-quality vintage quilts left over from her late grandmother, along with some letters that shed much-needed light on long-thought-forgotten family lore. The narrative then shifts, telling the story from Adele's point of view, filling in many of the cracks in the family's history. Does Esme finally get some sort of redemption and find a path forward? Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly is a heartwarming novel about different kinds of family - both the natural and found types - and how the decisions we make can still lead us home. Marie Bostwick lovingly paints the picture of an Asheville, North Carolina, that readers will fall in love with and excels at the gentle humor, wit and exploration of the deep personal relationships that tug at the heartstrings and make readers feel both comforted and enlightened. Brew yourself a nice, tall glass of sweet iced tea - well, since this is November in the Midwest, maybe a mug of hot tea will have to do - and place this one on your holds lists if you can't snag it off the New Release shelf. 

Thanks for checking in with us on #NoWaitWednesday, and we'll see you next week!

Reviewed by Gregg W.
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