I recently bought a book by Anne Gallagher, aka Robynn Rand. Now, I won't tell you I've read all her books, but what I have read I've liked. She's an excellent storyteller. I read the premise behind her first women's fiction novel and thought, hmm, sounds interesting. It was beyond interesting—it was a wonderful character driven story of love and family. If you haven't had a chance to pick up, you should.
Remembering You [Kindle Edition]Robynne Rand/Anne Gallagher
Publisher: Shore Road Publishing;
2nd edition (July 13, 2012)
Print Length: 243 pages
Her new promotion as Executive Chef at the posh Littlefield Country Club in Delaware is a dream job. It’s more than the pay and benefits; she has the chance to achieve what she’s always wanted – her own kitchen – and Genna can’t wait to get started when she returns after the Fourth of July holiday.
However, her vacation is far from relaxing. Two men are vying for her attention – an ex-fiancé who wants to fix the mistakes of the past, and an old school chum who finds her irresistible, and inspires mutual feelings in Genna. Her aunt’s forgetfulness is also causing concern. However, the family is in denial; her cousins are unable to cope with their mother’s changing behavior and her beloved uncle, dealing with all the stress, has a heart attack.
Genna steps in to keep his diner open and the family together while he recuperates, and she questions what’s more important – breaking the glass ceiling or remaining with her family. The clock runs out and Genna finds she is needed at her new job, needed by her family, and by lovers old and new. Now Genna must search her soul to find out what she needs. EXCERPT
Remembering You ripples across your emotions like strumming a fine guitar and leaves a warm echo in your heart.
This is a love story. Una storia bella di amore.
The love isn’t only romantic—although there is that element—but love between family members. Family is a complicated circle filled with complex relationships and emotions. There are squabbles and fights, laughter and joys, sorrow and tragedies. Any one of these pieces can be in play at any given time or be in place simultaneously. This is especially so in close knit extended families—siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. Home is not so much a place with four walls, or a town with familiar places and streets; it’s family. It’s our safety net and our bedrock from which we explore the world.
The main character, Genna, left home nursing a broken heart after a traumatic break with her fiancé and stayed away, aside from short visits, for ten years. She has worked hard during that time to hone her skills as a chef and restaurateur. It’s paid off. She’s been offered a dream job managing a large country club with several restaurants venues and a team of chefs. She takes three weeks to go home for an extended vacation before starting her new job.
Can you ever really go home? Yes, but it’s never what you left. It grows and changes, ebbs and flows. Home is familiar yet different. And so Genna discovers. She also learns you can’t really run from home and problems because they’re still waiting for you when you return.
I love Genna’s family. It’s a big New England Italian family (I married into one complete with a Diner). And Robynne Rand makes you a part of it. Uncle Sally is wonderful and I had to laugh at his choice of music in the diner, pithy comments, and intense love for his family. All the characters are well drawn and feel very real. They make you laugh out loud—a lot. Your heart hurts as you see Auntie Fortuna’s problems, what cousin Angie is facing, the hard choices facing Genna. You’re right there with the family in their opinion of Tony (the lying cheating weasel), the ex, and humming right along with oh so sexy Petie (È l'uomo perfetto per voi!).
This is a story you wish wouldn’t end. If you don’t have a family like Genna’s you’ll wish you did or they were friends and you could pop into the diner for a cup of coffee and fresh slice of life, Gennovase styled, for dessert.
Robynne Rand grew up on the shores of Rhode Island. Now residing in the Foothills of the Piedmont in North Carolina with her daughter, Rand writes about her old home state while staring at 25 acres of a soybean field. Sometimes if she squints just right as the fog rolls in from the mountains, it almost looks like the ocean.
Rand has had three literary short stories published in small press anthologies. She also writes Regency romance under the pen name -- AnneGallagher Website.
REMEMBERING YOU is her first foray into contemporary Women’s Fiction.