Monday, January 23, 2012
Maybe This Time - Review
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Andie Miller is ready to move on in life. She wants to marry her fiancé and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her before they go their separate ways forever. A very distant cousin of his has died and left North as the guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs a very special person to take care of the situation and he knows Andie can handle anything.
When Andie meets the two children she quickly realizes things are much worse than she feared. The place is a mess, the children, Carter and Alice, aren't your average delinquents, and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. What's worse, Andie's fiancé thinks this is all a plan by North to get Andie back, and he may be right. Andie's dreams have been haunted by North since she arrived at the old house. And that's not the only haunting.
What follows is a hilarious adventure in exorcism, including a self-doubting parapsychologist, an annoyed medium, her Tarot-card reading mother, an avenging ex-mother-in-law, and, of course, her jealous fiancé. And just when she thinks things couldn't get more complicated, North shows up on the doorstep making her wonder if maybe this time things could be different between them.
If Andie can just get rid of all the guests and ghosts, she's pretty sure she can save the kids, and herself, from the past. But fate might just have another thing in mind....
My brain was fried from speed reading 11/22/63, and this book was the perfect follow up. I loved it! It was like an English Gothic, set in Ohio- complete with castle, ghosts, and parentless wards. It was fun, different, and I enjoyed the brief drop-in from Gabe McKenna, a character from another of Crusie's books.
Andie takes a job as nanny for her ex-husband North's wards, who are currently living with a housekeeper in their home, a haunted castle. They most recently lost their nineteen year old Aunt May, when she fell from the tower of their castle, and since then had nanny after nanny caring for them before the nanny would run off from fear or frustration. The kids are traumatized and hard to deal with if you are a person lacking compassion. They need someone who will accept their quirks and help them to heal. Andie is the perfect fit for this job - she is warm, caring, and willing to roll with whatever comes up. She is no-nonsense when she needs to be, and does not believe in ghosts. At least in the beginning.
She also thinks she is over North, who does not seem to be over her; she is engaged to a writer named Will Spenser when she takes this job. However, ever since she moved into the castle, she has been having dreams about North, not Will. After weird seeing some strange people around the house, she begins to believe in ghosts. Through a series of events, a psychic, a parapsychologist debunker, and a news crew end up at the castle, as well as North and his brother. Andie has to convince her staunch, steady, and calm ex-husband that the castle is haunted, in order to save them all from the ghosts, who are not as nice as they seem. At the same time, she is trying to remind herself that she is no longer in love with North.
I loved Andie and North together, and I loved how well Andie took care of the children, who had some pretty big problems, all emotional issues that were turning into behavioral ones until Andie's brand of acceptance and sensibility started bringing them out of themselves, causing the children to open up to Andie so she could help them.
This was just a fun book, I loved the thought that they were in Ohio and not some moor in England.