Review: Back to McGuffey’s

Back to McGuffey's
Back to McGuffey’s by Liz Flaherty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š Back to McGuffey’s isn’t your typical romance novel. ย There’s a maturity about it that greatly appealed to me. The main characters, Kate Rafael and Ben McGuffey are 37 and 39 respectively, and by this time in their lives they’ve already experienced many of life’s major challenges, including divorce, loss of a beloved home and long-held job, a terminally ill parent, and the painstaking realization that with the ticking of the proverbial biological clock, the dream of starting a family may not become a reality for Kate. The characters are dealing with real adult situations, and I like how the author undertook to have them handle life’s difficulties in a dignified and civilized way. ย For instance, Ben McGuffey was married to a very beautiful woman, Nerissa, who is by this time happily remarried with children. She’s present off and on throughout the book with her husband and kids, but there’s no jealousy or bitterness when she’s in the presence of the woman that Ben truly loves, Kate. Nerissa honestly admits that what she had with Ben could never compare to what he could have with the true love of his life, the one he let get away, Katy. No cat-fights or petty jealousies. The two women can co-exist amicably without the childish caterwauling that could have ensued. This was refreshing. ย Ben and Kate had broken up 13 years prior when Ben left to pursue his career in medicine. ย  Now he’s back to spend time with his ailing father during his final days and realizes he made a mistake when he let Katy go. ย The love is there, but it’s not the giddy, young, silly kind. It’s a love of substance that’s achieved by people who have endured in life, and I appreciated how the two came together in a gradual way.

There are so many beautiful facets to Back to McGuffeys, but you’ll have to read it to find out more about Ben and Kate, Dirty Sally the cat and her best friend Lucy, an old dog; Jayson, the lovable young man with Down’s Syndrome and Maggie Hylton-Wise, a presumed curmudgeon with her own story to tell. ย These and so many others will make you want to invest time in this book.

With chatacters you’ll want to applaud and root for, Back to McGuffeys is a highly enjoyable story that will warm your heart long after you’ve read it. Highly recommended.
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