Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester is a story of starting over and second chances.
Rick and Abby grew up and fell in love, but when Rick's family moved away they were lost to each other for years. When they reunite unexpectedly at a friend's party, sparks fly. But things are very different now. Rick has just ended a loveless marriage and Abby has fled with her eight-year-old daughter, Paige, from an abusive marriage. Abby needs time to focus on rebuilding her life and making better memories for her young daughter. How does Rick fit into that life, if at all?
Pressed Pennies is a sweet, romantic tale of two people reconnecting after many years apart. They meet again after their failed marriages and try to spend time reconnecting. The problem is Abby's daughter, Paige, whose acting out threatens their relationship.
Manchester writers a deeply romantic, nostalgic, and richly descriptive tale. Told from various points of view--Abby's, Rich's, and Paige's--the reader gets a chance to see things from all three characters' sides, which I feel is unique. This helps the reader connect with Paige more than in a typical romance novel where the actions of the rebellious child are shared merely from an adult's point of view. It therefore, becomes, just as much Paige's story as Abby's and Rick's. Manchester does an excellent job of giving the reader a glimpse into what is going on insdie each characters' head.
The style is a blend of long passages and short snippets where the points of view change. Email exchanges between Abby and Rick give this novel a contemporary feel, while Rick's overly romantic nature comes as a pleasant surprise--both to Abby and the reader.
My one disappointment is that Paige seemed more like a teenager than the eight-year-old she is supposed to be. Even though she celebrates a birthday over the course of the story, her actions, and especially her manner of speaking come across as that of someone years older. As a person who has young girls at home and is surrounded by pre-teen girls on a regular basis, it nagged me the whole time. Definitely not enough to ruin the story, but I kept wondering how this would have altered Abby and Paige's relationship if Paige were portrayed more authentically.
If you're looking for for an intensely romantic story that touches the heart, Pressed Pennies will be for you.
Paperback: 355 pages
Publisher: Story Plant, The (May 13, 2014)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
I read this book for the following challenge: