Daisy by Josi Kilpack
Daisy never had an easy time raising her children as she did most of it herself. She first got pregnant as a teen with a boyfriend who refused to marry her. Relying on her family she worked her way through high school and found herself a good job and life. Ten years later she finds herself pregnant again and unmarried, though this time her boyfriend decided to at least try marriage. Several years later the marriage fails and Daisy find herself as a single mom once again. Now that her older daughter is expecting a child and her younger daughter is in the last year of high school Daisy is very ready to move into a new phase of her life without children. Both she and her husband Paul are counting down the days until they get the house and their time schedules all to themselves.
Then Daisy starts to get signs that she is pregnant, and offends her daughter so badly that she decides to go live with her dad. She realizes that perhaps her view on life needs adjustment, as she goes through the struggle of accepting her new pregnancy she learns to embrace the opportunity to be a mother again.
At first I was worried that it was going to be awkward to read four books that were interrelated over many of the same events and time period, but I think this series manages to make the characters with diverse enough lives and situations that they manage to keep the story interesting. Daisy the second novel released in the Newport Ladies book club tells the story of a main character, who is very different from Olivia in the first book.
It was interesting to read about how Daisy reacted to the events in the book group as she did have a unique take on all of the conversations in book group. Being in a stage where she thought it was weird she was having pregnancy signs when she was certain she wasn’t pregnant lent a lot of new tension to scenes I was already familiar with. It was also nice to get to know a few more details about others in the book group. Daisy interacts with Paige on a more regular basis, for example, although she knows little about the struggles others are going through.
I really loved the balance the Kilpack was able to strike in the book. The main character was not a Mormon but her friend Paige was. This lead them to have a few interesting conversations about god and Mormonism, but not in a context that was missionary in tone. Their conversations were really natural and were meaningful without being info dumpy. I also loved the balance the author was able to achieve in the ending. This book does not have a very happy romantic ending, but it was still an uplifting read. I loved that about this book. The ending was not fairy tale perfect but at the end of it I felt really proud of the way the main character had navigated the most recent crises in her life. I felt like she was moving on to better and happier places. Daisy had come to understand the most important priorities in her life and was willing to accept the changes (good and bad) that her new mindset would bring.
To find out more about this series visit the Newport Ladies Book Club website