The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller ~ 336 pages ~ published 7/17/18 by Pamela Dorman Books
A delightful novel about two headstrong sisters, a small-town’s efforts to do right by their community, and the power of a lost dog to conjure up true love
Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what’s “the usual.” But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her younger, free-spirited sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town’s beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson.
Kit, an aspiring–and broke–filmmaker needs to generate funding for her latest project, and is particularly keen when they find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided–some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change–and they aren’t afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.
Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn’t quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had.
Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on–finding Peggy’s missing dog, Freckles.
When a disaster strikes the diner, the community of Guthrie bands together to help her, and Nora discovers that doing the right thing doesn’t always mean giving up your dreams.
What I Thought:
I am a big fan of a good chick lit novel. I know that it gets a bad rep, but I have always enjoyed it, so when I saw this title on Penguin’s First to Read, I knew I needed to snatch it up! The Late Bloomers’ Club has all of the makings of a great, light hearted summer read: a quirky small town, bickering sisters, and a hint of romance with a somewhat taboo man.
I did like the main character, Nora, quite a bit. I found her to be highly relatable in her people-pleasing tendencies, as well as her need to take care of everyone, excluding herself. Kit, her younger, flighty sister was a little bit harder for me to warm up to, but she made for a great foil to Nora’s more down-to-earth persona. The men in this story really did shine though. Max was an absolute delight, and I personally thought he could have done much better than Kit (sorry, not sorry! 😉 ) Elliot was a precious man, and a fitting romantic lead for our heroine.
Overall, I enjoyed the feel of the story. I got a lot of Gilmore Girls vibes from the town of Guthrie. From the town hall meetings that quickly devolve into chaos, to the festivals for every possible holiday or occasion, I found myself falling in love with the people of this small community.
I also loved the themes of the novel: the importance of never giving up on your dreams, and the importance of community and of family – both blood and the one that you create for yourself. It was a heart-warming story, and it really made me want to go driving through New England in the fall! Pacing was a bit of an issue for me, but apart from that I thought it was a sweet little book with a lovely message.
I gave The Late Bloomers’ Club 3.5 STARS. This is a fun little chick lit story that will be a fun read for any Gilmore Girls fans, or even just for fans of quirky small towns.
Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!
Have you read The Late Bloomers’ Club? Are you part of Penguin’s First to Read program? Are you a fan of chick lit? If so, what is some of your favorite chick lit? Let me know down in the comments!
Love and happy reading,