Title: Maybe This Time
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5
Andie Miller is ready to settle down again, this time with Will, a cute, sweet writer. But before she can commit to him, she has to cut all ties with her ex-husband, North, who keeps sending her alimony checks despite the fact that she explicitly told him she doesn’t want them. She feels like these checks still bind them together. When Andie goes to confront North, he turns the tables on her, offering her money in exchange for a huge favor. North’s cousin, now dead, left his two children in North’s care, and he wants Andie to go out and see why they have driven three nannies away, and why they refuse to move to the city and live with North. When Andie arrives, she finds an old, crumbling house and begins to wonder if there are such things as ghosts.
I’ve heard good things about Jennifer Crusie, so when I was offered the chance to review her newest book, I took it. After all, I really do enjoy a good ghost story! I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed at all. This book was enjoyable from beginning to end, with appealing characters and great laughs.
Andie was a wonderful main character, and I really loved getting to know her. She was strong, smart, and very funny. She was incredibly patient with the children, which is saying something. While Carter was a typical sullen teen (even though he was only 12), Alice was a different story. She seems incredibly spoiled at the beginning of the novel, so used to getting her own way that she just screams at the top of her lungs when something goes wrong. However, instead of getting mad at her, Andie works with her to help her see that screaming isn’t the answer. Eventually the reason for Alice’s behavior comes to light and it’s much easier to understand. Still, getting to that point was difficult, and I really admire Andie for how genuine she was and how much she really wanted to be there for these kids that she barely knew.
The ghost story aspect of the book wasn’t really that scary. It was certainly well done, and creepy at times, but overall the novel has a feel of humor rather than horror. I also appreciated the premise – a smart, savvy woman introduced into a ghost story. How will she react? Will she believe in the ghosts? It really was a gothic story with a modern day heroine. I enjoyed this twist and thought Crusie did an excellent job making this book as entertaining as possible.
The secondary cast of characters is also a lot of fun. Towards the end, as more and more of them begin showing up at the house, it turns into utter chaos. It’s great to watch them banter back and forth and see how all these incredibly varied personalities interact. They’re developed to varying degrees, but all clearly have their own quirks and charms.
I really enjoyed Maybe This Time, and am now curious about Crusie’s other novels. I had the impression that she was a romance novelist, so I’d refrained from picking up her books before now. I’ll definitely have to seek out her other non-romance titles and read them as soon as possible!