In the latest entry of the extremely popular Blossom Street series (this story also works well as a stand-alone), readers meet gung-ho lawyer Libby Morgan. Libby has been working toward one major goal: to become partner in the law firm in which she works. She has spent so much time and energy in this pursuit that she hasn't had time for anything else. Her marriage didn't work because her ex-husband, Joe, wanted a family, but she was determined not to divert from her objective. She has had no time for friends, romance, or hobbies.
Now, Libby is thrilled because she has been called into her boss's office. This must be it --- the promotion for which she has yearned for so long. She practically dances into his office...only to be laid off. Her boss also suggests that she reconsider her priorities in life since he put his job first, to the detriment of his private life.
"STARTING NOW combines Macomber’s winning elements of romance and friendship, along with a search for one woman's life's meaning --- all cozily bundled into a warmly satisfying story that is the very definition of 'comfort reading.'"
Libby is in a stunned state, feeling that she is sleepwalking as she packs up her personal belongings. She knows she will have a job soon; maybe even her boss will come to his senses and rehire her. Meanwhile, she tunes up her resume and starts job-hunting in earnest. However, when four months pass and she is still unemployed despite her earnest search for employment, Libby takes a good hard look at herself. She has been watching way too much television while soothing herself with a plethora of ice cream. Her excess weight is not helping the hit her ego took when she was laid off. She yearns for her mother, who has been deceased for decades. Although she is not close to her father, she visits him, only to be harangued about finding a job. Her stepmother suggests she might be happier if she joined a gym, advice she decides to follow.
Libby’s first days at the gym are more than rough, but she persists. She feels even more alone at the gym, though, and finally decides to call her best friend from law school. Robin Hamlin is now a prosecutor for the city of Seattle and is as much of a workaholic as Libby used to be. Even though they live in the same city, they've drifted apart a bit. Now, though, Libby manages to persuade Robin to join her for lunch. Afterward, she tags along on an errand for Robin's mother, which lands her at A Good Yarn Shop, admiring the rainbow-colored yarns and reminiscing about how much she once enjoyed knitting. At the store, Libby meets owner Lydia Goetz, her teenage daughter Casey, and Casey's good friend, Ava. The girls persuade her to join them in knitting caps for premature infants.
When Libby and the teens drop off caps at the hospital, she encounters two people who will become pivotal in her life, changing her course. One is a nurse who persuades her to volunteer to cuddle newborns. The other is a handsome young doctor named Phillip Stone who she has noticed working out at her gym. He is so unfriendly when she sees him at the hospital that she wonders what she might have done to offend him. However, he also has some appalling news that will compel her to act, toppling the first in a series of dominoes that will change her future.
Debbie Macomber's many fans are going to be over the moon with her latest Blossom Street novel. STARTING NOW combines Macomber’s winning elements of romance and friendship, along with a search for one woman's life's meaning --- all cozily bundled into a warmly satisfying story that is the very definition of "comfort reading."
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on April 5, 2013