May 4

ONC Book Club: Evvie Drake Starts Over


It’s ONC Book Club time again!

With spring in the air and time spent outdoors, we’ve been slacking on our reading goals. Who wants to sit on the sofa with a novel when we can be outside, finally, gardening, walking and beating our grandchildren at badminton?

Alas, reading is a balm in any weather, and we picked up Linda Holmes’ novel Evvie Drake Starts Over as a way to ease back into reading while keeping things light enough for evening cocktails on the back porch.

We love Evvie Drake.

A young widow making sense of her new “single” life, Evvie is a quiet, thoughtful and no-nonsense woman. With a past that haunts her and a future filled with uncertainty, Evvie is hovering in the space between comfortable certainty and the uncomfortable unknown. When her best friend’s best friend comes to town for to escape his own past, Evvie strikes up an unlikely friendship that leads her down a path of self-discovery.

As readers, we follow along in Evvie’s journey, which she is sometimes thrilled to tackle and other times unwilling to engage with. There are baseball, emotional highs and lows, charming local characters and, ultimately, an exploration of what love really means.

For anyone looking for a light-hearted, witty and charming spring read, here are 10 Things About Evvie Drake Starts Over:

  1. Evvie Drake Starts Over is set in a “sleepy seaside town” in Maine, with all the lobster references you can imagine. This novel does (obviously) make us want to head north, rain gear and L.L. Bean totes in hand.
  2. Holmes’ novel has been named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR and is a New York Times Bestseller. Evvie, it seems, strikes a chord in many of our hearts.
  3. We laughed out loud (truly) during some of this novel, and at other moments felt the weight of lost love, lost dreams and bridges burned. Evvie Drake Starts Over lets you feel all the feelings.
  4. This novel will be a perfect “beach read” if you’re planning on visiting any of the beautiful North Carolina coastline this summer. Read it with a group of friends and laugh over Evvie’s witty dialogue and internal thoughts.
  5. A caveat before you begin reading: there is a bit of “language” in the book, so if that’s not your thing, consider this before digging in. Some Amazon readers found it jarring, and while we don’t always love an “f-bomb” ourselves, we were able to move beyond what seems to have become a common language occurrence these days.
  6. Jeeves gives Evvie Drake Starts Over a 3.5 stars. He liked the sharp dialogue and the character’s exploration of self. However, Evvie never adopts a cat, which Jeeves feels is a travesty.
  7. If you’ve ever pondered counseling or gone back and forth in your head, Evvie’s experience with therapy might just nudge you in one direction or another. We appreciated Evvie’s hesitancy to explore her past, which is accurately portrayed in this novel. As Evvie’s therapist tells her, “Therapy is like a toothbrush. You can’t really put it to use for anybody except yourself.” Excellent point.
  8. Much of Evvie’s story focuses on shifting relationships and how we both make meaning and move on when things change. Evvie’s story is a great example of making the most of relationships while also letting them shift and grow.
  9. For anyone who knows what it feels like to start over, this quote from Holmes’ novel will ring especially true: …you wake up one day and you need a whole new plan.
  10. Though Evvie Drake Starts Over has romance and is light-hearted, it’s not only for female readers. Men will love the baseball references, the coastal descriptions and the exploration of relationships from a male perspective. This is a book for everyone.

Let us know if you venture into Evvie Drake’s world and what you think! Until next time, happy reading!

You might also enjoy:The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old

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