Have you read The Way It Was by Mimi Flood?
Welcome to my book review about the romance novel The Way It Was! Mimi Flood is a talented romance novelist and fellow Canadian. **Warning: This review will contain spoilers** I can’t wait to share my reading experience with you!
Before The Story
Normally, I’m not one to read romance novels, but I’ve been trying to expand recently and explore various genres. I won the eBook version of this novel in an Instagram contest which is really exciting because I never win things like that! Because I know this author and I got it for free, I was eager to dive into it!
Genre: Second Chance Romance
Keywords: love, marriage, family, young love, summer
Point of View: Third Person (both Samantha and T.J.’s perspectives)
Main Characters: Samantha, T.J. (a.k.a. Troy)
One Sentence Summary: Lost love always finds its way back.
Samantha is the main character. We see her as a teenager for most of the book, but at the start and end she’s a grown woman. She’s strong, smart, is divorced, and has a kid. It’s refreshing to see a book with this character because it’s not the usual 30-something stumbling around through life and making awkward choices. I loved her right away and she’s super relatable throughout. She’s more cautious and careful with her choices as an adult, while in her teens she’s impulsive (but not reckless) and feels her emotions more strongly than ever.
The beginning of the book intrigued me right away when she found her old journal. There were so many questions about her past that I needed answered. The transition from the present to her past in the summer of ’88 was smooth. Same as when we return to the present near the end of the book. I loved that and the way I got to know Sam. We also get glimpses of T.J.’s point of view occasionally, which was awesome! I enjoyed learning his inner thoughts and feelings towards Sam. It added an extra level of depth to the story.
And of course we end the story with Sam and T.J.’s wedding at the castle estate where they first met and lived for that summer in ’88. Sam’s mom and his dad were originally supposed to get married, but that relationship didn’t last. Lucky for them because it would have been a little awkward to be step siblings that fall in love!
The Low Lights
I don’t know if I just wasn’t paying enough attention in the beginning, but the names of the people and towns were hard to keep straight! Lacey is the name of Sam’s daughter, but it was also the name of Sam’s best friend. And T.J.’s (a.k.a. Troy) dad is also Troy. And Lacey’s boyfriend’s name is Tony. It just took me a second to process who was who in the initial chapters.
I didn’t fully understand the character of Sam’s sister. She’s supposed to be this super attractive, popular, high school senior. But when we see her in her teens she’s mostly portrayed as this miserable brat. I didn’t fully understand her motivations and why she was so miserable. When we see her as an adult, she does apologize to her sister and explain her part in why they had to leave the castle (breaking Sam and T.J. apart) and how she was hell bent to get back to their original home. It might make sense because it was Sam’s point of view of her sister, but something just seemed off to me about her character.
Finally, I wish I had seen more when Sam’s daughter Lacey and T.J. first meet. It’s told in exposition when I would have liked to see Lacey’s reactions and more dialogue. There were a few other places where dialogue could have been used instead too. This meeting just felt too rushed/passed over and I wanted to see it play out further.
After The Story
This was a beautiful story, a happy ending! It was an enjoyable experience despite my personal preferences of what I thought could be different. The ending, when Sam goes to find T.J. again to reunite, reminded me of The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks. Sam asks T.J. why he never came to find her (like when Allie asks “Why didn’t you write me!?”). Turns out that Sam’s mom and sister were conspiring to keep them apart and her mom basically told T.J. to stay away (not unlike how Allie’s family thought Noah wasn’t good enough for her and tried to convince Allie to stay away).
Overall amazing experience – 5 bookworm rating!
Have you read this book? Share what you thought in the comments below!
Thank you for reading my book review on The Way It Was!
Join me next time for more creativity. Want to be part of my blogging experience on a deeper level? Hit me up on the contact page to ask questions, request new topics, or submit a guest post. Then, sign up to my bookish newsletter and never miss out on updates, contests, and more!
Are you looking for someone to create beautifully crafted content for you? Hire my talents: Hire Kirsten!