The Future She Left Behind
By Marin Thomas
Author Website: www.marinthomas.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer jerjen
One woman’s journey home gets derailed by her soon-to-be ex-mother-in-law in a novel filled with humor, small-town charm, rekindled love, and the resilient ties of family.
Cast aside by her cheating husband, Katelyn Chandler is ready to pack it all in and drive home to Little Springs, Texas. She wants a chance to regroup, reconnect with her mother, and get back to her art.
But Shirley Pratt–master manipulator, elitist snob, and Katelyn’s terror of a live-in monster-in-law–has other ideas. Shirley insists on joining Katelyn’s trip after her son tries to pack her off to a retirement community. Katelyn has no choice but to play peacekeeper between the ornery old woman and the proud matrons of Little Springs. Yet the small town seems to be changing Shirley. And as Katelyn weighs the wisdom of picking up where she left off with Jackson Mendoza, the town bad boy and her high school sweetheart, she must find a way to believe in the strength of her dreams. (Goodreads)
Katelyn Chandler has a good life. She has a husband and twins that she adores and she does not want for anything. But that all changes when her husband files for divorce and admits that he has cheated on her. And to add insult to injury, her mother-in-law, Shirley, has been living with her. To say her mother-in-law is a nasty person would be an understatement. She never really liked Katelyn and finds fault with everything that Katelyn does. She is devastated and really does not know what to do. Her children do not need her as much now, since they are college-age. She will be okay financially but she does not know what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She decides to go home, Little Springs, Texas, to visit with her mom and try to figure things out. But she has to take her mother-in-law with her on the road trip, because Shirley’s memory is not what it used to be and she could hurt herself if she is left alone for too long. Shirley and her own mother, Birdie, do not get along at all and Katelyn is afraid that there will be many blow-ups in her future. And there is also the problem of her possible running into Jackson, her high school sweetheart. She is not proud of herself for the way she ran out on Jackson, and she does not know what will happen if she runs into him. But deciding that she will make the trip and deal with the fallout later, that is what she does.
The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional. All of them are flawed in one way or another, but that just made them see more realistic to me. The conversations and interactions between them all were at times funny, at times difficult but always heartwarming. Katelyn realizes that she may not have married so much for love but instead for money and security. She also realizes that she lost herself while she was married. Birdie also gave up her dream when she became a mother and had some jealousy towards her daughter. Shirley is just a mean-spirited woman who enjoys being better than others. And Jackson has lived up to his bad-boy image and is not proud of some of the things he has done in his past. All of the characters have things to work on and they have to decide if they want to become better people.
This book is such a wonderful read. Full of humor, self discovery, growing pains and the realization that family is everything, it is a feel good book that will make the reader feel a multitude of emotions. I highly recommend it and I am so glad that I read it.