the ones who matter most book cover

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Reviewed by Bethany Kelly

What happens when you not only lose your husband, but also find out that he had a secret family that he never told you about? Do you buck up and deal with it? Or do you ignore your new found knowledge and pretend you never discovered it? Abby Roberts must figure this out in Rachael Herron’s The Ones Who Matter Most.

When Abby finds out that her husband, Scott, got a vasectomy behind her back, she is intent on getting a divorce. After telling him this, something unimaginable happens…he dies. This sends Abby into a tailspin. Then, to top it off, she is going through his things when she sees pictures of Scott and another woman in wedding attire…followed by a picture of him with the same woman holding a newborn.

Fern Reyes, single mother to Matty, has been raising her child on her own since the day he was born. Money has always been tight, and her schedule has always been jam-packed. When she comes home to find Abby in her yard, things get even more complicated for her little family. Not only will the child support checks stop coming because of the death of Matty’s father—Abby’s husband, Scott—but Fern will also have to try to get along with Abby because Matty is taken with her from their first encounter.

What starts out as a search for answers for Abby, and tolerance for Fern, may turn into something beautiful for both of them—a friendship and perhaps a new family.

I was engrossed in this novel from the get-go. Not only was I extremely interested in the overall premise of the story, but I was also enamored by Herron’s writing style. It is very simplistic, yet thorough. She gives you the details that you need and nothing more. This is the very reason I was able to read this 400+ page book in two short days. Nothing in the novel detracted from the plot, or made me want to skim to get to something more interesting.

Both Abby and Fern are very well-developed, strong characters. Although Abby seems confused and broken, her strength to keep fighting is what makes her such a lovable character. Even after everything that she has gone through, she still finds a way to keep going. Fern, although sometimes annoyingly independent, is also very resilient. She is a hard-working, single parent, and that speaks for itself in regards to everything that she has to endure.

Although I loved this book, I will say that I was a bit disappointed with the ending. It is a good ending, but an open one, and I hate not knowing for sure what happens.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this book, and look forward to reading more novels written by Rachael Herron.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking. Check out her website at www.bckwritingcorner.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NAL. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.