From the BLURB:
FIRST LOVE ISN'T FOREVER... Exhibit A: Faith's little sister, Skye, who muddled through her first divorce at the tender age of twenty-one. Faith has always provided damage control when Skye's love life gets too reminiscent of a daytime drama. But now that Faith has finally found the job, if not the man, of her dreams -- as a culinary writer, currently living la dolce vita in Italy -- she can't just jet back to small-town Minnesota to help her suddenly pregnant little sister heal her broken heart and anemic bank account.
BUT NEVER SAY NEVER! Faith has been putting off this homecoming for years, ever since her dad left her family in the lurch, her mother left her in charge of Skye, and a sub-zero case of cold feet led her to call off the engagement to her high school sweetheart, Flynn. But a return to the amber fields of grain might just be what Faith needs to gain some perspective on her past -- and figure out her future. It's been way too long since her last love...
If you liked the movie ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ this book is for you. Big city girl returns to her small hometown, fooling everyone into thinking she’s got herself figured out when in actuality she’s just as confused as she was 10 years ago. There’s even a high school sweetheart whose heart she stamped on by leaving town like a bat out of hell.
I started out really loving this book. Kendrick is really funny and she imbued the protagonist, Faith, with a biting sarcasm and quick-wit that would put those Gilmore Girls to shame. In summarising her teen-angst relationship with her high school boyfriend Flynn, Faith says they “had more issues than National Geographic”. And there’s plenty more quips where that came from.
Unfortunately, Kendrick doesn’t imbue the male protagonist with the same instant likeability. Flynn came across as very guarded and flat – he didn’t have much of a personality and lots of the chemistry between him and faith was explained by relying on their past romantic history.
At the start of the book Faith has a lot of obstacles in her way;
My foot remained firmly on the brake. “Let’s sum up, shall we? Currently, I have no money, you have no money, I’m on the brink of professional ruin, and I just drove halfway across the United States to the one place I never want to see again, all to face personal and financial humiliation with a man who hates my guts and doesn’t know I’m coming. Is that about right?”
I thought there was plenty of emotional baggage to make the plot interesting and the stakes were high enough to keep the pace moving swiftly. But certain issues get wrapped up too quickly and neatly. Faith’s biggest obstacle was mending bridges with Flynn after breaking his heart 10 years ago- but that was resolved way too easily. After an initial cold shoulder Flynn is practically panting after her. I was hoping for more angst, a little more suspense in the ‘will-they-or-won’t-they?’ stakes.
Kendrick does keep up the funny. But I was more chuckling occasionally than experiencing full-on belly laughs.
All in all this was a good book, but it could have been better if Kendrick had been willing to risk her character’s emotional upheaval and hadn’t made solving so many problems so easy.