Published by Tyrus Books on June 4, 2016
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
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Everything is falling apart in Tig Monahan's life. Her mother's memory is going (dementia), her boyfriend is gone (Hawaii), her absent sister shows up long enough to have a baby (and then leaves again, without the baby) and her job as a therapist has disappeared after a contentious couples' therapy session goes horribly and honestly sideways. Oh, and then there's the whole thing about the family secret that nobody saw coming.
But Tig is a survivor (she hopes) who manages to stumble and step her way to a new job, new truths, new outlooks and a new lease on life.
Ann Garvin’s I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around was such a nice read. When I picked it up, I was in the kind of mood where I didn’t want to think too hard, but I didn’t want fluff, either. Honestly, all I really wanted was to curl up and relax into a good book. This was perfect.
I loved how messy-real these characters were. Tig Monahan is a psychologist. She should “know” how to act/react in the circumstances she’s facing—especially when it comes to her mother, who has Alzheimer’s—but Tig is better at dishing out advice. Following it? Not so much. I think a lot of us are like that (I am, at least). It’s easy to know how to respond to stress and set up healthy boundaries, but not as easy to connect with and use that knowledge. (Learn from Tig, people. Read and learn.)
Tig has a lot of major stuff going on in her life, but her sense of humor, the excitement of the radio show she hosts, and the colorful secondary characters all made this feel like a lighter read. It’d be a great book club pick, especially if your group is needing to decompress from a heavy title, but you don’t want to sacrifice having significant topics to discuss. This was my first time reading Ann Garvin, and I’m looking forward to reading her backlist! I got that “relaxed with a good book” reading experience I was craving. Thoroughly enjoyed this.