The singles ward is the last place Abish wants to be. But after the unexpected death of her husband (and after being kicked out of her mom’s place), she has to move into single-student housing to finish up her schooling. Maybe training for a marathon and winning the heart of the handsome executive secretary are exactly what Abish needs to get a personal best. (Summary and image from goodreads.com. I was provided a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.)
My Review: Abish Miller is a mess. She's barely survived the last year, hardly making it to work, failing in her commitments to her family, her school, and everything else around her. The only times she feels, well, anything is when she's playing Halo with not-so-great-guy, but good buddy, Pen or when she's running. However, everything changes when her mom kicks her out, her in-laws sever contact in an effort to move on, and her boss strong arms her into finding a new place to live.
I really enjoyed this book! I can completely understand Abish's frustrations and fears of moving forward with her life. She's not a very tactful gal to start with, but then to deal with the heartache (which is so much greater than just losing her husband) and the isolation that came with it on top of it, I totally understood her behavior. Does she make good decisions? Ha! No. Not really one bit. That's part of the fun. Does she grow? Slowly, painfully, and rewardingly, yes.
There were times I thought that the descriptions of the Singles' Ward activities and drama were a little too -- well, I couldn't decide. They were either too painfully accurate or too stereotypical. (It's been a while since I've been in that situation.) Either way, I completely and fully understood where Abish was coming from. The phrase "humiliations galore" ran through my head more than once. However, I laughed out loud definitely more often than I cringed for her.
My Rating: 3.75 stars
For the Sensitive Reader: There's one fairly aggressive and unwelcome kiss. But Abish packs a wicked right hook. There's also characters struggling with personal issues (past rape, eating disorders, etc.).