Author: Debbie Macomber

ISBN: 978-0-345-52881-0

If you have never read a Debbie Macomber novel, then you might want to start with her newly released book, Starting Now. Although it is part of the Blossom Street series, it works perfectly well as a stand-alone.

The story opens with a surprise and a heap of trouble. Attorney Libby Morgan thinks she has been summoned to managing partner’s office to be awarded the good news that she has just been made a partner in the firm. Instead, Hershel tells Libby that effective immediately, she is laid off, due to the economy. 

Macomber knows how to craft a sympathetic protagonist. Poor Libby is alone in the world, having lost both her mother and brother; and since their deaths, her father has been emotionally unavailable. To compound this sad situation, Libby has no friends, having devoted all her time and energy to the firm, sacrificing her personal life to make partner. At some point, there’s a little of Libby in all of us: mistaken, misunderstood, mistreated, and at a loss for what to do next.

After four months of diligent job searching, Libby is 10 pounds heavier and a lot of cash lighter. Her savings is rapidly dwindling, and she’s scared about her future. To deal with the situation, she joins a gym and takes up knitting little caps for the preemie babies at Seattle General Hospital. This is where she meets the hero of the story, the handsome Dr. Stone, who is the sum of every woman’s dreams. But wait, things don’t go as hoped for the two of them. 

I love a story that throws in some surprise curveballs, and Debbie Macomber does just that. Not to give too much away (because the fun of reading is the discovery), but multiple roadblocks pop up in the paths of Libby Morgan and Dr. Phillip Stone.

A subplot involves Robin, one of Libby’s revived friendships. Robin, a prosecutor, has a mad crush on a widowed judge. But alas, the judge can’t seem to get past his feelings for his deceased wife. 

Personally, I thought the most interesting storyline was that of a 13-year old knitter Libby meets at the yarn shop. The shy teen seems to be under a cloud of distress, and Libby wonders why. Dr. Stone thinks she is pregnant, but no one imagines that could be the case since the girl is so young. This thread is complicated and doesn’t end in the way you expect. 

One of the components of a good book is a good ending. That doesn’t necessarily mean a happy ending; but rather, it means the story concludes with a sense of reality and satisfaction. Too often, a strong story turns weak at the end, spoiling the reader’s desire for another offering by the author. Not so with Debbie Macomber’s Starting Now. This master story teller knows how to start fast, create interesting and relatable characters, toss in surprises, and then end strong with a satisfying finish.

Highly recommended for readers who like a clean romance with a greater purpose.

Follow Here To Purchase Starting Now: A Blossom Street Novel

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