A good audiobook with a side of angst and miscommunication
In the last few months, Monica McCallan is having all her back catalogue released on audio. Back to the Start was written in 2018 and is one of her first novels.
After her grandmother passed away, Remy returns to the small town she left twelve years ago. She has bitter memories of the place as a teenager, especially from her first love, Fallon Lewis, who broke her heart back then. The trip will allow Remy to reconnect with Fallon again and to learn hard truths about herself too…
This is a second chances romance with the setting of a small town. The book is written in third person only from the point of view of Remy, who is a hard-to-like character. Ms. McCallan shows Remy with all her shortcomings, self-doubts, and flaws. She’s a character that has a lot of growing up to do and this book is as much a romance as her journey to become a better person.
Despite Ms. McCallan being a relatively new author (her debut novel was published in 2017), she has grown a lot as a writer and readers can tell by comparing this novel with her latest ones. I’m not sure if it was the psychic distance of the third person, or the emphasis on Remy’s struggles, or the miscommunication but sometimes it was hard to keep up with Remy’s contradictions and hesitations. Her road to redemption is not without bumps.
Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of the lack of communication between characters and the angst associated with it. While I understand that there is miscommunication or lack thereof in many relationships in real life, somehow it’s hard to pull this reality into a book, not sure why, maybe written stories have to simplify miscommunication too much so they make sense, and once they are simplified they lose credibility. I’m not a fan of angst either so I’m not the ideal demographic for this story. Despite that, I enjoyed most of it and I eventually warm up to Remy and her life decisions. Readers who like angst will enjoy this story much more than I did.
Lori Prince has narrated all of this author’s audiobooks so far (plus the next two which will be released this summer) and has done a magnificent job as usual. Her narration definitely improved my overall enjoyment of this story as she made the most to convey the chemistry between the main characters. If you like your love stories with a side of angst and miscommunication, then this one is for you. 4 stars.
Length: 8 hours, 39 minutes