Cathy Lamb’s October 2019 release, ALL ABOUT EVIE, is gloriously eccentric and full of heart.
There’s a full cast of quirky characters, lush garden settings on the San Juan Islands, a touch of woo-woo, a mystery, family secrets, suspense, an impossible romance, a few dark threads, and endless hope. All that plus scrumptious descriptions of cake that made me drool in public. (Note to self, don’t read about homemade cake when you’re trapped on an airplane.)
I love that many of the characters are damaged people chasing second chances. Marco, the hunky veterinarian, is a former soldier with PTSD. Evie’s sister, the biker chick bride-to-be, is planning the happiest day of her life through panic attacks triggered by the concept of marriage. And Evie’s pets—a menagerie of strays and rescue animals—flourish as loyal and spirited secondary characters, despite their combined history of abuse and neglect.
At the center of the story is Evie herself: a bookseller with a sweet tooth and a love of roses. Evie has never felt as if she quite belongs, and every birthday, a heavy fog of depression descends. The world can be a terrifying place for her, because Evie sees random snatches of the future. Her premonitions are a gift and a curse that she can’t escape. To survive, she avoids relationships that could lead to love and loses herself in books and a quiet lifestyle. She adores her insecure sister and the flamboyant triumvirate of her mother and aunts—whose antics include nude yoga on the beach, growing cannabis plants in the greenhouse, drunken escapades in public, and decorating outrageous hats.
However, when her sister suggests a DNA test before the wedding, Evie’s carefully constructed world shatters. Her mother and aunts have been keeping secrets, and DNA doesn’t lie. The results of the test force Evie to rethink everything she holds dear and lead to life-altering questions: Should she welcome the unknown? Is her new truth the missing piece of her life?
If you crave a read that’s a little bit different, this is the book. I can’t recommend it enough.