Mrs. Nash’s Ashes

by Sarah Adler
First sentence: “Rose McIntyre Nash died peacefully in her sleep at age ninety-eight, and now I carry part of her with me wherever I go.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Release date: May 23, 2023
ARC pilfered from the shelves at the bookstore.
Content: There swearing, including a few f-bombs, talk of sex, and some very on-screen sex scenes. It will be in the Romance section of the bookstore.

The plot: Millicent Watts-Cohen has a mission: she is going to reunite some of her dead neighbor’s/friend’s ashes – the Mrs. Nash of the title – with the woman that she fell in love with in the 1940s, who is currently living in an assisted living center in Key West.

She’s at the airport, all set to fly down there, when the flights all get grounded (the reason doesn’t matter). She ends up pairing with Hollis Hollenbeck, a former classmate of Millicent’s terrible, arrogant, back-stabbing ex-boyfriend, and they end up driving from DC to Key West. The way is not smooth – oil spills, suicidal deer, broccoli fests, and lots of paint-by-number Jesus portraits stand in Millie’s way. But, also, along the way she might just learn how to love again.

Oh, this one was delightful in so many ways. I adored the push-and-pull between the ever-optimistic, and slightly weird, Millie and the grumpy, pessimistic Hollis. I loved their banter – and laughed out loud more than once. I’ve often said that I don’t mind sexytimes in a book (and they were very good in this book), but I need to have a plot and some characters that I can enjoy to actually enjoy a romance book. And while this fits the formula of a romance, it was excellent in its execution. It was so very funny, and yet tender and heartbreaking at times. I enjoyed having Rose’s story interspersed with Millie’s adventures, and it made the ending bittersweet and that much more fulfilling. This is Adler’s debut novel, and I’m excited to see where she goes from here.

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