Evvie Drake has finally worked up the nerve to do what she's
been thinking about for so long: leave her husband. Just as
she's about to drive away, Evvie gets a phone call - there's
been an accident, and her husband has died. A year later,
everyone in her quaint Maine town still talks about her like
she's the sad widow. But what no one knows - not her best
friend Andy, her father, or anyone - is that she's not
really grieving anymore, nor did she ever really. Sure,
Evvie is sad that Tim died, but no one knows how difficult
it was to be married to him.
Andy's childhood best friend, Dean Tenney used to be the
star pitcher for the Yankees until he couldn't pitch
anymore. One day, mid-game, Dean developed the Yips, a
condition that afflicts athletes - pitchers in particular -
who at one moment are the best of the best, and a moment
later can't do it any longer. Hounded by the media and
called a head case, Dean escapes the spotlight by coming to
Maine and moving into the studio apartment behind Evvie's
Evvie and Dean decide to set ground rules - she won't ask
him about baseball, and he won't ask about her dead husband.
Though over the months they spend living in close proximity,
those boundaries become blurred, and both Evvie and Dean
start to open up. As their relationship changes and grows,
Evvie finally feels a connection to someone but grapples
with guilt and shame. Dean admits he misses baseball but
doesn't want to get his hopes up about returning to the
pitcher's mound. With vulnerabilities exposed, secrets
revealed, and personal realizations made, are Evvie and Dean
ready to start over? And can they do it together?
What a charming, quaint, and thoughtful novel! EVVIE DRAKE
STARTS OVER by Linda Holmes is a heartwarming story. Even
with deeper and more serious themes, there is genuine humor,
quintessential smalltown quirks, and of course, a sweet and
steady romance. Evvie and Dean are two kind characters,
working through some things, and it was enjoyable to see
them figure out how to do so together. Additionally, their
network of family and friends added depth and insight to
their plotlines, as well as comic relief. While Dean's
struggles with the yips move things along, it's Evvie's
journey through widowhood, grief, and therapy that drives
the narrative. Her self-realization along with her
self-doubt was relatable, understandable, and rewarding when
she begins to understand herself, and knows she has things
to work through. NPR pop culture correspondent Linda Holmes'
debut novel will appeal to fans of Where'd You
Go, Bernadette? and Eleanor
Oliphant is Completely Fine.
From the host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast
comes a heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship
between a young woman who's lost her husband and a major
league pitcher who's lost his game.
In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth "Evvie"
Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including
her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside,
and she doesn't correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney,
former major-league pitcher and Andy's childhood friend, is
struggling with a case of the "yips": he can't throw
straight anymore, and he can't figure out why. An invitation
from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the
perfect chance to hit the reset button.
When Dean moves into an 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. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken--and
what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into
something more. But before they can find out what might lie
ahead, they'll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds
they've broken, the plans they've changed, and the secrets
they've kept. They'll need a lot of help, but in life, as in
baseball, there's always a chance--right up until the last out.