This book will be released on August 25, 2015. I received a copy through NetGalley.
A Measure of Happiness by Lorrie Thomson is the story of three people. Katherine owns Lamontagne’s, a local bakery in Maine. She divorced her husband, Barry, after a long bout of fertility treatments didn’t work so he could have the family he deserved. Yet he still comes into her bakery every morning for coffee. She never wants him to know her deep secret.
Celeste worked at Lamontagne’s before going to culinary school, hoping to one day buy the bakery from Katherine. After something happens to her one terrible night, she runs back to Maine and Katherine. She won’t confess what happened to her or how she’s dealing with her eating disorder.
Zach is on a road trip up the coast, stopping at every bakery along the way. He’s adopted and searching for his birth mother. He finally stops at Lamontagne’s, drawn by Celeste and Katherine, and hoping his search is finally over.
There’s a recurring theme of talking around subjects. Not many secrets are completely hidden, but no one wants to come out and talk about them. Zach and Katherine both know that the other might have something they want. Everyone knows about Celeste’s eating disorder but everyone is afraid to bring it up. Katherine still loves Barry but her secret keeps them apart.
It’s not until Zach and Celeste get closer and start confessing that everything starts to unravel. Katherine and Zach are brought together by worry over Celeste to finally get things out in the open. And Celeste goes back to school to confront her demons.
This was a bit of a slow, sleepy book until Celeste comes to terms with what happened to her and decides to take matters into her own hands then everything races to the end.
It seems a lot like a typical book in the genre, with a small town and its secrets, but the subject matters it covers sets it apart. The ending is happy and unambiguous, which is a nice change. Like The Third Wife, I give it a 3/5. It’s a nice read, taking you on a journey with the characters and you hope things turn out well for them.