BETTER IN THE MORNING,
BY FERN RONAY
PUBLICATION: RED ADEPT PUBLISHING, LLC; APRIL 26, 2016
About the book:
Veronica Buccino has a plan: marry John DelMonico and quit her soul-sucking job as a lawyer. And when he tells her he has big news, she’s certain he’ll pop the question. But instead of proposing, John informs her that he’s moving to London.
Heartbroken, Veronica feels lost. Salvatore and Antoinette, her dead grandparents, begin to visit her dreams in an attempt to steer her in the right direction. At their suggestion, Veronica takes a news reporting class, which leads to a challenging freelance assignment covering a conspiracy trial. She also begins dating an unlikely suitor: creative Syd Blackman.
Just when her love life and career are looking up, Veronica is tossed back to square one by an event that makes her question all her new choices.
Attention, anyone that hates their job, wants a new life, but was also really close to their grandparents – Better in the Morning should be your next read! Fern Ronay created a wonderfully funny and charming story about Veronica and all of her issues! Veronica is a lawyer but hates her job. Honestly, she’s not good at her job either, considering she spends most of her time daydreaming or searching human interest stories online. Thinking her boyfriend is going to propose, she meets him for dinner thinking that she can now quit her job and be a happy housewife until he tells her that he is being transferred to London. Between her “visits” with her dead grandparents while she sleeps at night, and the urges of her friends, Veronica signs up for Match.com in attempts to meet Mr. Right. She also (after a suggestion from the grandparents) signs up for a news reporting class to further investigate her true passion. Veronica experiences several highs and lows throughout the story but thankfully finds her true self.
I will begin by saying that this was just an overall great novel! Fern Ronay developed sich a realistic and likable character in Veronica that I could not help but adore. She did her best to do “work” while she was at work, she spilled food on her clothes, she tripped and fell at inconvenient times, and also cried in the bathroom whenever she fought with her best friend. Veronica honestly felt like someone that I could be friends with and I loved how realistic that she was. Who hasn’t hated a job, hated their boss, hated their co-workers, and surfed the internet on company time not doing what they should?? She was humiliated and heartbroken after John told her about leaving for London, she went on horrible Match.com dates, and dreamed of eating lots of sweets and cupcakes when she was “visited” by her grandparents.
Even other characters that were not likable – such as Beverly and Kate – were expertly developed by Ronay to the point where I could hear their voices, see the expressions, and even hear Beverly’s orthopedic shoes. Once Syd was introduced, I instantly fell in love with him. He wasn’t your typical romance novel heartthrob, but there is no way not to fall in love with him with his relaxed personality and fantastic sense of humor.
Better in the Morning has a non-stop plot that keeps you laughing and at times, crying for Veronica and her crappy decisions. There were several moments where I I thought in frustration, “really, you don’t know better than to do this!!” A prominent theme that came to mind while reading this and after is that our perfect lives aren’t always the perfect lives that we imagined. The guy you think isn’t Mr. Right can sweep you off your feet. Who cares if you aren’t halfway through paying off your law school loans if you don’t want to be a lawyer, then don’t. Friends fight, lovers come and go, but follow your dreams.
On a personal note, the main thing that really drew me to this novel was Veronica’s “visits” with her deceased grandparents. Being one of those people that was closer to a few of my grandparents than anyone else in the world, I completely understood the joy she felt from their visits, as well as, her need to hold on to them in any way possible because their input, advice, and lessons were so important. After reading this novel and browsing Fern Ronay’s web page, I truly felt like I was losing my mind when I saw one of her blog entries regarding deceased pets. I can’t decide if I am personally losing my grasp on sanity and reality, if I’m just meeting others as crazy as I am, or if it’s actually completely normal to feel connections to those that have passed – whether a person, dog, cat, or whatever. Regardless, I find it funny that I have read two novels in the past few weeks dealing with this subject (the other was Under the Cherry Tree by Lilac Mills).
I’ve probably carried on too long, but I cannot recommend this novel enough to anyone that is a lover of women’s fiction, romance, comedy, and a novel that embraces and celebrates the connections we have with those that we have lost. I am so honored and happy that Fern Ronay asked me to read and review this novel and it is definitely one not to be missed!