“And for the past year, I’ve told myself I should have died with them. I tell myself that every day. But my heart stubbornly keeps on beating. And I’m still alive. Utterly miserable and still alive.”
Diane has spent the last year of her life consumed by grief, barely stepping out of her apartment. She wears her husband’s shirts and washes her hair with her daughter’s perfume. They were both killed when a car slammed into their parked vehicle. Her only contact with the outside world (besides quick and occasional trips down the street and back) is visits from her friend, Felix.
Happy People Read and Drink Coffee was highly recommended by Book Pages, so I put it on my to-read list. I checked it out from the local library as an e-book.
After that initial year, Felix finally tries tough love and tells Diane she needs a change of scenery, hoping to get her back to working at the bookstore she owns, called Happy People Read and Drink Coffee. She ponders what her husband would do and decides to go to Ireland, the place he always wanted to visit. She packs and leaves to stay at a rental cottage for an indefinite amount of time. Her peace and quiet is interrupted by a neighbor, Edward, who comes across as an eccentric photographer. However, in a small town, they cannot avoid each other and they eventually come to understand each other. Can her heart heal and move on there?
This book was very predictable and not highly believable. I think it could have used another round of editing to develop the characters and plot a little more. The characters are very stereotypical (Felix is flamboyantly gay and Edward is a stoic, never-tell-my-feelings man). Diane goes from being a grieving housewife to a woman who goes on blackout drunken binges. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would. It might be a good beach read, but not good if you’re looking for a great novel.