Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Book Review: The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

Harms, Kelly. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler. (2019). Lake Union Publishing. ISBN 978-1542040570 $14.95 USD. Trade Paperback.


Amy Byler is barely making ends meet as a single mom of a teenage daughter and a tween-age son with the work she does as a school media specialist (librarian). She is still struggling to understand why her  husband abruptly abandoned the family and moved to Hong Kong three years ago. Imagine her shock when she encounters him in a drug store, and he expresses the desire to keep the kids for summer while she attends a conference in New York.

Suspicious and nervous about his offer, and rightly so, Amy struggles to let go of her kids and take some much needed time for herself over the summer.  Thus begins the main story-line of the book, as Amy goes on a "Momspringa," reconnects with and old friend, and chances upon the possibility of a new relationship. If only she weren't torn between her new life and the old one back home, including her ex-husband, who seems to be trying awfully hard to make up for lost time.


I'm so grateful to Lake Union Publishing and the author for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel prior to publication. I had been in a lengthy reading slump, and though I had started several great books, I had not finished one until The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, which I could not read fast enough!

Initially attracted to the novel because of its librarian main character, I quickly discover that it is honestly and engagingly written, has wonderful character development, witty dialogue (including some laugh-out-loud text message exchanges), emotional depth, and thought-provoking situations arising among the characters. It deals with marriage, children, including teenagers, friends, regret, and the road to possible redemption. And, if you read this book, you will understand when I say that I REALLY want a #Momspringa, like, right now! 

This will end up as a favorite read of the year. Really well done.

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