- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 25, 2016)
Newly orphaned, recently divorced, and semiadrift, Nina Popkin is on a search for her birth mother. She’s spent her life looking into strangers’ faces, fantasizing they’re related to her, and now, at thirty-five, she’s ready for answers.
Meanwhile, the last thing Lindy McIntyre wants is someone like Nina bursting into her life, announcing that they’re sisters and campaigning to track down their mother. She’s too busy with her successful salon, three children, beautiful home, and…oh yes, some pesky little anxiety attacks.
But Nina is determined to reassemble her birth family. Her search turns up Phoebe Mullen, a guarded, hard-talking woman convinced she has nothing to offer. Gradually sharing stories and secrets, the three women make for a messy, unpredictable family that looks nothing like Nina pictured…but may be exactly what she needs. Nina’s moving, ridiculous, tragic, and transcendent journey becomes a love story proving that real family has nothing to do with DNA.
Life? Messy. Stories about real life? Messier. Really true stories about real life? Don't get me started!
The blood relations in Survivor's Guide live in no fairy tale. Nina has been searching for 'real family' for a long time. Lindy is quite happy with the status quo (which does not include these new 'family members'), thank you very much. Phoebe doesn't want to know from anyone, let alone 'family'.
So what is Nina to do? She respects the wishes of the other two by not being obnoxious in pursuit of what she wants over the expense of others. And she stays true to her mission.
Ms. Dawson's prose takes the messy gumbo of family, complements with the seasoning of siblings from other mothers (and fathers) and makes a tasty and fulfilling tale. The Survivor's Guide to Family Happiness is a well-crafted story, satisfying long after turning the pages (or swiping the finger across the screen) is a memory.
Maddie Dawson grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers. Her various careers as a substitute English teacher, department-store clerk, medical-records typist, waitress, cat sitter, wedding-invitation-company receptionist, nanny, day-care worker, electrocardiogram technician, and Taco Bell taco maker were made bearable by thinking up stories as she worked. Today she lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with her husband. She’s the bestselling author of four previous novels: The Opposite of Maybe, The Stuff That Never Happened, Kissing Games of the World, and A Piece of Normal.
Click on the button to go to the tour page where you will find links to more reviews of this title. You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours!
(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)