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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Finding Libbie by Deanna Lynn Sletten

Setting: Minnesota
Genre: Women's Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Lake Union
Release Date: September 6, 2016

I have to say, the number of books issued by Lake Union Publishing that have delighted me has been pretty amazing. Finding Libbie is another winner from this division of Amazon's publishing services.

While helping her grandmother organize for a move to a senior living community, Emily Prentice stumbles upon some pictures of her father with a mystery woman. She's stunned to learn her father was married to another woman, long before she was born. Emily sets out to learn everything.

Jack Prentice fell in love with Libbie long before she even acknowledged him. As a car mechanic's apprentice, Jack's social status was clearly not acceptable enough for Libbie's wealthy family. Despite it all, the pair fell in love and married shortly after graduation. Before the newlyweds really have a chance to settle into their lives together, Libbie's personality changes. Soon, Jack doesn't know how to help keep his wife from slipping away.

Mental illness is at the very heart of Finding Libbie. This book is very honest, at times completely frustrating, and incredibly poignant. The story is set in the 1960s and 1970s, so there is a bit of the historic feel to their romance. Lots of women were not supposed to work and were supposed to keep a perfect home and have dinner ready and on the table for their husbands' arrival at night. It's just the way things were. My heart broke for Libbie and Jack. It was so clear what was going on, but thinking back to my childhood, I knew of classmates' moms who were a lot like Libbie. At the time, they were scary, but now I look back and feel bad that no one really understood their troubles.

I wasn't fond of Libbie's family, but again, it was all part of the times. The ending came in a little too swift, but I was glad to see how everything turned out and am so glad I picked this novel up! It's another great Lake Union release.

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