Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Reviewed by Ginny!
In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn’t correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy’s childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and he can’t figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.
When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken–and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they’ll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they’ve broken, the plans they’ve changed, and the secrets they’ve kept. They’ll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance–right up until the last out.
Synopsis from Goodreads
What I drank prior: plenty of white wine. First a work happy hour and then watching futureman with Sam. That show is delightful.
Spoiler-free Overview: I’ve followed Linda Holmes for a few years through Pop Culture Happy hour. She’s a bunch of fun and I trust her opinion so when she wrote a book I Was There. Evvie is about to leave her husband when he gets into an accident and dies. Suddenly shes the widow of the town hero and feels she has to pretend everything was perfect between them. Enter Dean, Evvie’s bestfriends best friend. He suddenly started sucking at baseball (which legit happens) and is looking to drop out of the spotlight. Thinnnnnngs happen
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I really enioyed this close up look of realizing yourself. It cam be hard to do especially after some major life change. I have experience with that. But I liked the different points of view and there were moments that hit very close to home.
Characters: Evvie was a delight. She had been with her husband for exactlhalf of her life and so much of this book was her figuring out who she was. She is also what my mom would call a “problem solver” which means she wants to handle Dean’s sudden lack of baseball skillz. Dean, meanwhile, is alao confused about what he wants. The minor chRacyers are also great. Andre, who is bffs with both Dean and Evvie is a single dad that I wish I could have spent more time with. The main cast otself is pretty small.
Plot: this is a super contained book. Portions are outside of their small town in Maine but most of the plot is shown in the quiet moments between Dean and Evvie. Its very introspective
Writing Style: fun.
World Building: the world felt very full. This does take place in a small town in Maine but the way it was described made so much sense to me. I liked the way people from Evvies past would be mentioned and brought in to play in this universe. It felt like a full world without going into depth about every store and every building
What to pair it with: a finger of whisky being drunk on the floor of a ground or basement floor room with a slight breeze coming in through an open window