Things to do When It's Raining by Marissa Stapley
"She never told Virginia about the magic in the river when her daughter was alive, instead focusing on the wrong things -- constant corrections, judgments, many of which still hang, though they're hidden, in her daughter's "Things to Do When It's Raining" list in the lobby, a yellowing monument to the life that once made this place bright. Maybe the magic in the river will remain a secret, too. And that's okay, because some things are better kept secret. And some things are not: life's most difficult task is to know which is which."
Marissa Stapley's Things to Do When It's Raining is a "powerful story about guilt, forgiveness and the importance of family, no matter how that family is built." Mae has returned to her small home town in the wake of a disastrous broken engagement to lick her wounds and put the pieces of her heart back together. She is unaware that her grandparents health (along with their marriage) has been rapidly deteriorating over the course of the last few months. Instead of a quiet place to heal, she walks in to uncertainty and upheaval as her grandfather moves out and her grandmother attempts to keep her advancing Alzheimer's a secret. Haunted by their past lies and deceit, George and Lily struggle with finally telling Mae the truth about her beautiful, vibrant mother and their role in ruining Mae's relationship with the one man that Mae thought she would be with forever.
This book was a quick read and an interesting look at the complexity of life, how we cope and grieve when we lose those we love, and how deception can often shape families for generations to come. Many thanks to Harlequin Books for this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. 3 stars.