Can I preface this book review with: I love Lee Woodruff. I love her! I do. I want Leesies to be my bestie. I want her to come over to my house and sit at my kitchen bistro table and drink coffee with me.
Or maybe we’ll go shopping, just us girls: go to King of Prussia Mall and stop and have a cuppa tea and then lunch at Legal Seafoods, all the while chatting about women stuff and husbands and telling each other how fab we look in the outfits we try on. It would be great, really.
She’d love it. And me.
The thing about Lee Woodruff is, she’s FAMOUS. Like, on TV famous. She’s on CBS This Morning and her husband is the famous Bob Woodruff, the journalist embedded in the Middle East who suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Like I said, she’s famous so when I met her at BEA this June, I was impressed by how NORMAL she was. Seriously.
During BEA I attended an author speed dating session and Lee was one of the speed daters. The authors went table to table greeting us book bloggers and telling us about their latest books. There was very little time for interaction as they had to visit 17 tables of 8 people each. It was INSANE! But guess what? In that 3-5 minutes of lightning speed interaction, I picked up something abut Lee. We even had a very brief conversation. I’m sure she’ll never remember me, but you know what? She stuck with me. So, I collected her book and vowed to read it.
To be sure, I thought Those We Love Most was going to be a vanity project by yet ANOTHER famous person. But it wasn’t. Lee is a writer by trade and in some ways, her stories remind me of Jennifer Weiner’s stories: tales of normal people and how they respond to life. The characters are flawed, but not desperately so, but they are relatable. You might know Maura or Margaret or have seen them in the grocery store.
Woodruff knows about loss, having dealt with the issue with her husband’s TBI. And in a very neat way, she works the story of loss into the book. The loss is totally believable and they way the characters deal with the losses could also happen in real life. So much so, that you’d think the book was a work of non-fiction. It’s that believable.
I’m not a sucker for romance nor a happy ending. I like endings that make sense and I squirm at too much “i love you we can work this out no matter what” ideologies. Those We Love Most isn’t like that.
Put it on your TBR list when you need a break from hot, steamy sex or vampires in dystopian settings.
So here’s a message to my new BFF Lee: If you’re ever in the Philadelphia region, I’ve got a cuppa coffee with your name on it. I’ll even let ya drink outta my Frida Kahlo mug, it’s my fave.
You are too.
I give this book 3 paws!