Recent Reads | Evvie Drake Starts Over

I joined a book club! When I was first asked to join, I almost immediately declined because life has been so full since Finn arrived (and sleep has been so minimal). I mean, when was I going to read all these new books? And then I remembered the hours and hours of nursing time Finn and I put in, and realized that all I needed to do was prop up any book during a few feedings and I could knock it out in just a few days (fun fact - exclusively breastfed babes require the equivalent of a full time job's worth of hours over the course of a year of nursing). 

Anyway, I hosted for the month of September which meant I was also in charge of creating our discussion questions, which I was all about. Seriously, why have I not been part of a book club before? Our September book was Evvie Drake Starts Over. It's not a genre I usually gravitate toward (it's a romantic comedy and I prefer the creepy psychological thrillers) but I still really enjoyed it and thought it was well written with depth that I wasn't expecting. Here's the Amazon synopsis:

One morning, Eveleth 'Evvie' Drake got up, packed her suitcase, and got ready to leave her life - and her perfect husband - behind. But before she walked out of the door, she received a phone call asking her to come to the hospital. 
That day, Evvie's new life as a widow began. 
Now wrestling with her guilt and grief, Evvie has found her independence, but not the way she planned. Unable to leave the house she once dreamed of escaping, it's clear to her best friend Andy that Evvie needs a change. And Andy might just have the answer. . .
Dean Tenney was a big-shot baseball star, until a bad case of the 'yips' meant he couldn't play anymore - or understand why. An invitation from his childhood friend Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.
When Dean moves into the apartment at the back of Evvie's house, the two make a deal: Dean won't ask about Evvie's late husband, and Evvie won't ask about Dean's baseball career. But rules have a funny way of being broken sometimes, and as a friendship evolves into something more, will Evvie and Dean be brave enough to let go of the past and start over again?

The book was Gilmore Girls meets Jerry Maguire - the dialogue makes it a delight to read, and the professional sports element adds an interesting twist. The author, Linda Holmes, is a pop culture commentator for NPR so the book also had tons of nods to media. 

If you want to play along, below are the questions I penned for our group to discuss. I won't include the responses because that would spoil the book for y'all, however I will offer up that my favorite answers for the actors to play the book characters were: a Hemsworth brother for Tim (they're interchangeable, no?), John Oliver for Andy, Zoe Deschanel for Evvie, and Bradley Cooper for Dean. And I'd totally go see that movie. Happy reading!

1. What actors would you cast in a film version of Evvie Drake Starts Over?

2. How did Evvie change over the course of the book?

3. Did you think Dean was going to pitch again professionally?

4. Was the friendship between Andy and Evvie realistic? 

5. The novel is labeled as a “feel good read” but at the same time, it covers loss, failure, emotional abuse, death, and grief. Do you agree with the “feel good” label?

6. Holmes made the book’s dialogue shine with clever and witty banter. What was your favorite conversation?

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