How great is when you think you know exactly what you will find in a book and it ends up being completely different in a fantastic way? That happened to me with ‘The Goodmans’ by Clare Ashton and it’s the reason I recommend this book fiercely. Is so much more than a lesbian romance where there characters will find a way to love each other and end up together. Is a story about feelings, vulnerabilities, letting go of your past to focus on your present and about to be brave to have a better future.
First of all, the author’s style is superb. You feel the characters’ emotions, relate to them, love them like dear friends and feel the butterflies and the pain as if it all were happening to you. They feel real and alive, are far from perfect and those imperfections is what makes you connect so deeply with them. The way the relationships are described and the feelings portrayed makes you need to know how everything ends and makes you care about them, because you feel you know them and, as it would happen with a dear friend, you want to see them well and happy.
We have three main characters and they are completely different from each other but if I have to pick a favorite that would be Maggie, beautiful and misunderstood Maggie who doesn’t know where she fits anymore. She has raised her children and is not someone’s wife anymore so she finds herself completely lost and without a path to call hers. At first you think all her character’s development will be based on the empty-nest syndrome but this changes drastically when someone irrupts in Maggie’s ordered life and you discover that the housewife and mother of two has so many secrets that their lives would change drastically if discovered. Oh, the moment someone from the past appears and you realize there is so much more about Maggie that she lets on, that this complex and layered character is going to be developed further than a mother or the activist who can’t change the world is simply delightful.
Then we have Abby and Jude, the latter being Maggie’s daughter, who have been friends for years and have a deep and sweet relationship of utter trust and love. But what happens when one of them has been crazy in love with her friend since the very beginning of their relationship? How to risk everything you have when you can lose everything that is vital for you? Abby knows the meaning of real lost and is certain that if she confesses her love for Jude she won’t only lose her dear friend but those who she has called her family for her whole adult life. Thank the goddesses Clare Ashton came up with terrific secondary characters like Eli or Celia to keep these three on the correct path and who, with all their eccentricities and their unique craziness, changed Jude, Abby and Maggie’s life forever and for the better. Cheers to granny and grandson!
Beautiful storytelling at its best, characters you fall in love with since the very beginning and that crazy need to know how their stories end – or started – is what made me turn pages like a crazy maniac reading non-stop until I knew for sure they were fine, happy and surrounded by the love they deserve. It’s been long since I felt so deeply for a bunch of crazy characters and I assure you ‘The Goodmans’ by Clare Ashton will amaze you as it did with me.
*I received an ARC edition in exchange for an honest review*