REVIEW: Days Like These by Miranda Barnes
Everybody deserves a second chance…or do they?
Meg’s marriage is shattered when her husband, Jamie, walks out. Devastated and with no idea where Jamie is, she tries to maintain a normal life. Before now, Meg had ignored Jamie’s drinking and given everything to her marriage. But her happy relationship is nothing more than a distant memory, growing fainter with each new day.
Robert, a widower and colleague, senses Meg’s unhappiness and shows her some much needed kindness. An opportunity arises for Meg to repay this compassion, but where will this kindness lead?
In the midst of this, Meg discovers she’s pregnant with Jamie’s child. Determined to keep the baby, Meg holds her head high and gets on with it.
But just when Meg’s convinced herself that she can survive on her own, Jamie suddenly returns. Things seem to have drastically improved. But just how long will this new Jamie last? He claims to have changed, but Meg doesn’t know what to believe anymore.
Is this where her heart truly belongs? Or is the real answer to her happiness waiting just around the corner?
Dear Ms. Barnes,
I liked the description of your books as working class contemporary Britain. Sure I’ve read some of the ubiquitous billionaire romances but I do like to see some books about everyday people with whom I might actually have something in common.
So the prat leaves her – casserole in hand – just before their dinner guests are to arrive. No warning, no lead up – just gone. Meg has devoted her life to Jamie and he leaves her. Maybe that’s the problem? Or maybe not as we’ll discover.
Workmate Robert is a nice enough bloke but Meg’s never really spent much time with him, until he kindly drives her home one day. Then she swaps favors by minding his children on short notice one evening. Robert understands that Meg doesn’t want sympathetic fussing at work about her situation, he hadn’t either, so he’s a refuge of sorts during lunch breaks.
Meg still enjoys visiting her parent’s home in Great Newton, Northumberland. I get more English village name love here. Slowly, Meg adjusts and gets used to being alone, to not having Jamie in her life, to not wanting him in her life. She and Robert exchange stories of being alone – he due to his wife’s death and she due to Jamie leaving. She’s good with his kids, they like her and after watching a nature documentary eight year old Sean feels comfortable enough with Meg to ask her about mother elephants and his worries that the herd will forget one when she’s died. Yeah, poor little mite is thinking about his own mum. And slowly their relationship starts – with sheep – which isn’t as naughty as it might sound given where Meg’s parents live. Robert’s a nice man, easy to talk to and supportive. He notices things, asks how she is, doesn’t intrude and she adores his children.
Then Jamie comes back. Loyal Meg tries, really tries to make things work. But when his real problems finally emerge, will she follow the advice of her friends and kick him to the curb or will she try a bit more to salvage her marriage?
This is well written and manages to pack a lot into the novella word count. The speech and dialect sound local and as if written by a native. I enjoyed the way the book seemed complete and unhurried despite packing in a lot into the story. I felt comfortable with these characters and their relationships and especially with how settled the HEA felt once it arrived. Men … sigh, they get relationships so muddled. B