Digging In by Loretta Nyhan follows the life of Paige Moresco after the loss of her beloved husband Jesse. I'm not giving anything away here - this is in the first few pages of the novel and from the beginning of page one the reader can see Paige is struggling - to hold onto herself, her job, and her relationships with her teenage son, Trey. To add insult to injury, her boss of more than a decade in the advertising firm she works for dies suddenly and his young, hip son takes over the family business. (You can already see the trouble brewing?!?!?)
Mr. "new boss" has decided that two people need to go and they are going to fight for their jobs - including Paige and Jackie, the mainstays of the company. He says the competition will be fierce to which Paige counters, “Fierce like Beyoncé, or fierce like Vladimir Putin?” There's some lovely wit interspersed within the family drama.
Paige is overwhelmed, as anyone would be, trying to keep her life together. And one night after her grouchy neighbor comments on her yard going to dandelions, she kind of snaps. She rummages through the pantry, finds a bottle of wine - "I poured the wine and took a sip. Heavenly." and begins to dig. Literally dig up the dandelions and in the process of purging her anger, her sadness, her soul she digs and digs and digs. Now with a giant hole of dirt and nothing to do with it, she takes a chance in her life on gardening - something she's never done before.
With the help of her friends, her son, and a funky gal she meets at the farmer's market named Mykia that has an entire story of her own, Paige learns to live again - to become who she is now, and let go of who she was then.
Digging In is a novel of redemption. Of finding your way out of a terrible storm that would pull anyone to their knees. Nyhan writes with a depth of emotion that is cathartic and creates believable characters and scenarios that allow the reader to thrive within the lives of all the personas embedded in this great work. I especially enjoyed the way the writer dealt with grief through a surprise personality that domineers the ending of the book - appropriately. Our instinct is to always say we are sorry when someone else is hurting - and yes, we're sorry they are hurting, but our apology will not help them. Nyhan writes through the verbiage of a character:
“Then you should ask for a good memory that best describes him or her. Let the grieving person have a moment with that person again.” “Couldn’t that be too painful?” I asked. “It’s all painful. Listening to a hundred people apologize for something they had nothing to do with is excruciating, isn’t it? They can’t reverse anything with their apologies.”
I loved the developing relationship of Paige and her son, Paige and her boss, Paige and her friends, Paige and her neighbor, Paige and the police officer, Paige and our final character. Each connection was organic and profound.
I give Digging In an enthusiastic ☕☕☕☕☕ because this was just a great story - a human story. This book will be published on April 1, 2018.
Nyhan has a couple of other novels, that I promptly purchased via Amazon for $1.99 each! A steal if they are as good as this one.
She also co-wrote three additional novels that I hope to add to my collection: I'll by Seeing You, Empire Girls, and This Heart of Mine.
What's Next?I'm currently reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn and I'm 10% in and in love. So excited to see how this book develops.
Happy Reading my friends! Cheers! 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷