Release date: March 3, 2022
Abbie has been with Matt for twenty years. That’s 7,305 days, not that she’s counting.
Ever since Matt saved Abbie from a pigeon when they were seventeen, they were meant to be. But fast forward, and their happy ever after is light on the happy. Their sex life is officially extinct, Abbie’s lingerie is officially dusty, and Matt officially doesn’t know how to use the dishwasher.
Hoping it’s just a phase – aka the longest dry spell on record – it’s time to initiate Operation Memory Lane. Maybe they can spice things up by recreating their first date (Nando’s fixes everything), their first holiday (getting jiggy on the beach), and even their wedding.
But revisiting the past isn’t always plain sailing… Abbie didn’t bank on her secret coming to light – the one she’s kept for two decades. And she had no idea that Matt’s been hiding something from her too.
Can they get their spark back? Or is Operation Memory Lane a sure-fire way to blow up their marriage, leaving Abbie single, terrified to mingle, and with a drawer of dusty underwear for company? [Goodreads]
It’s typically hard for me to really get into stories about struggling marriages. I’m not married, and thinking about people who were once desperately in love and now aren’t just depresses me, usually. That being said, I am in a seven-year relationship (a long time for any 24-year-old). Though they were married 20 years, Abbie and Matt’s struggles were ones I could certainly relate to.
Ranald does an incredible job of showing what it takes, in my opinion, to make a relationship work. Abbie takes advice from friends to recreate some of her and Matt’s past thinking she can spark a connection. I absolutely love that this is not the solution Abbie thinks it will be. This novel was really a display of how putting work into your relationship is necessary for it to thrive, and Ranald is so smart for the way she portrays this.
I loved how normal Matt and Abbie are. So many novels will try to give you characters who proclaim themselves to be special or just different from anyone else in that world. Abbie and Matt are not those people—they could be anyone which makes them that more relatable.
I also really appreciate how Ranald handles the topic of infertility. Not everyone who goes through IVF will end up pregnant, and I think it is really great to have that representation for couples struggling with infertility.
I personally prefer romances with a little more tension between the two characters, but this this is a really solid romance with lots of emotion and value.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookoutre for and e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.