This may be the hardest book review I’ve ever written because I simply don’t know where to start. Or end. Maple Summer Wallace is an incredible story that is a roller coaster of emotion. I went from laughing to crying to screaming and then started back at square one.
Let me preface by saying that I am a huge fan of Ms. Calla’s work, my first introduction to it being her Sheridan Hall series. I’m also (which I’ve mentioned about a zillion times before) a big believer in NA being a genre despite the haters who say it’s dead. I love it and always gobble up all the NA I can find.
Why in the world should you care what I think when I’ve admitted to two biases toward this piece already? Because when I started Maple Summer Wallace, I was trepidatious. If you know anything about me you know that I am all about the HEA. Saccharine sweet, over the top, fluffy puppies and babies and weddings… yes. That is ALL ME. The more disgustingly adorable the HEA the better for me.
Friends, that is not what Maple has in store for you.
This story starts out by meeting Maple… and a dead body. Listen, it wasn’t her fault (no, really, she wasn’t even there when dude was killed), but now it is her problem. And like that wasn’t enough of a headache to deal with, Maple also has a rare health condition. And it’s, ya know, fatal.
That’s right, folks. Our heroine is dying and all she wants to do is cash in her family fortune, go to Vegas, and gamble it all away before she dies. Listen, as far as life plans go I gotta admit, I admire Maple. It isn’t the worst I’ve ever heard and sounds like a completely viable way to say bon voyage to the world as a whole. But then this whole dead body thing happened. As did her loyalty to Ronnie, the daughter of her beloved nanny, who… kinda has something to do with aforementioned dead body.
Now Maple’s last days are to be filled with much more drama and stress than she ever dreamed or wanted.
This story grabs you from page one and refuses to let go, twisting and turning you inside out. I went through more than one box of tissues on this read (I suspect Ms. Calla may have made a deal with the folks over at Kleenex to get a kick back with all the feels she riled up) and, even through the pain, was ready to start right back over at square one when I was done because it is JUST THAT GOOD.
Maple’s voice is unique and fresh and slightly sarcastic. Completely my kind of girl. I honestly dare anyone not to fall in love with her and walk away from this book without crying big, ugly tears.
This is a hard to genre book, but it would make a fabulous book club read. If you enjoy women’s fiction or literary fiction, you will adore Maple Summer Wallace. If you enjoy exceedingly well-written complex stories, regardless of genre, you will adore Maple Summer Wallace. If you have anything resembling a heart and accept going into this that the ending will be an unconventional one, you will adore Maple Summer Wallace.
Seriously, people, just go buy this book.