Book Review: A Place Like This by Cari Scribner
Jess Gabriel is figuring out life as a single woman in her fifties. As a follow-up to A Girl Like You, author Cari Scribner takes us alongside Jess as she wonders what could have been if one of her two marriages had worked out, as she explores more of the dating world, and finds ways to fill her world once she suddenly becomes an empty nester.
Thank you to Ms. Scribner for my copy of A Place Like This in exchange for my honest review.
What I Enjoyed About A Place Like This
A Place Like This is a character-driven novel full of emotional events, ranging from Jess spying on her ex-husband Bryan at his beachside wedding to her encounters with patrons as an Uber driver to her recaps of the conversations of her coworkers — the Three Stooges — at Town Clerk’s office. Jess is an endearing, authentic character with quirks and a lot of heart, and I enjoyed getting to know her better in this novel. The side characters, especially Jess’s friends Nadine and Eddie, are people I’d want to have in my own life.
Much of this book is about Jess mourning what could have been. Her first husband, Adam, left the family to travel the U.S. in an RV., unsatisfied with the stable family life that Jess treasured. Years after Adam left, Jess still questions what made him so unhappy and why he didn’t find comfort in the home and family time she embraced.
Then, Jess’s emotions are torn even further as her son, Ian, decides to join Adam on the road after finishing his college classes. Nearly every chapter of the book including Jess reminiscing about when Ian and her daughter, Madison, were young. The memories are sad yet heartwarming as they demonstrate how dedicated Jess is as a mother, and the inclusion of so many shows the impact of Jess’s feeling of loneliness.
A Place Like This is a quick, entertaining read with short chapters, engaging characters, and fun vignettes of Jess’s adventures, including some very steamy date nights. If you’re looking for a read that hits all the emotions and leaves you feeling satisfied, this is a book for you.