The Marvelous Monroe Girls by Shirley Jump

This book felt like a breath of fresh air after some of the more serious/heavy things I’ve been reading lately.

Gabby longs to be close to her sisters again, like she remembers them being before their mother died suddenly when they were young, their father seemed to abandon them and they ended up being raised by their grandmother. Gabby has a secret: she did something the day her mother died that she feels makes it all her fault, and she so badly wants to make it up to everybody. Meanwhile, her oldest friend and neighbour has had a secret crush on her for years, but since her heart was recently broken by his cousin, can he convince her to see him as some thing more?

Set in a lovely coastal town, where Gabby runs a struggling vintage clothing store (with no social media or online presence), everybody knows everyone and somehow the local newspaper is still solvent, this book has a very Hallmark feel. Which really isn’t a bad thing at all. It was nice to escape into the easy, old fashioned world of this book, and the cover is bright beachy and cheerful, so I feel like the cover promises what the book delivers.

Secrets are a bit of a theme in this book. One of the sisters has secrets about her marriage, Gabby has secrets about her father, and the love interest has his secret crush. Perhaps the most fun secret is that early on in the book, the sisters find something in the attic that leads them to think that their grandmother is the anonymous newspaper agony aunt. It’s a secondary plot, as the three sisters try to find out if their suspicion is true and get overly involved (harmlessly) in the lives of the people who write to the paper. It’s fun. Not all of the secrets, those of the other two sisters for example, are resolved in this book because this is set to be the first in a series by the author.

This book feels like it’s scented with homemade chocolate chip cookies, brisk sea air and childhood toys. In some ways, it’s not doing anything innovative, but why mess with a comforting formula that works? It’s sweet. It’s entertaining. I appreciated the little trip out of the serious world where I was into something lighter.

Read It If: I think there are already Shirley Jump fans out there, but this will probably please the Debbie Macomber crowd too. It could easily be adapted into a Hallmark Summer movie.

Thank you to HBG Canada for the copy of this book for review.

4 thoughts on “The Marvelous Monroe Girls by Shirley Jump

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