Published by Gallery Books, Pocket Books, Threshold on 9 July 2013
Genres: Chick-lit, Contemporary, Romance
After losing her job and leaving the husband she dearly loves, twenty-nine-year-old journalist Gemma Hendricks is desperate to save her career by scoring an interview with Colin Firth. But a much more local story steals her heart—and just may save her rocky marriage too. Thirty-eight-year-old waitress Veronica Russo, shocked by the unannounced arrival of the daughter she gave up for adoption two decades ago, becomes an extra on the movie set, wondering if happy endings—and a real life Mr. Darcy—are even possible. Twenty-two-year-old student Bea Crane, alone and adrift, longs to connect with Veronica, her birth mother, but she’ll discover more than she ever imagined in this coastal Maine town. And just when they least expect it in a summer full of surprises, all three women may find what they’re looking for most of all…
*I received a free ARC of Finding Colin Firth from Gallery / Threshold / Pocket Books via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
Finding Colin Firth is a surprising contemporary novel following three women whose lives become connected in a small town in Maine. A beautiful depiction about all the choices women have to make in their lives, and the social pressure for them to always do ‘the right thing’. And I really appreciated reading a contemporary romance that takes feminism and gender roles seriously, but just as a part of the story, not in a preaching or debating way.
Bea finds out that she was adopted a year after her mother died, she receives a letter in her late mother’s hand-writing, In Finding Colin Firth, I thought I’d find a whimsical contemporary romance novel, and at time, it was that – however, it is also a lot deeper than that. Stories of teen pregnancies, giving a baby up for adoption, becoming pregnant unplanned and dealing with the outcome of that are all being discussed.
As Bea finds out her birth-mother lives in Maine, she goes there to see if they should meet. Veronica became pregnant when she was 16, and her family cast her out, while her boyfriend didn’t even believe it was his baby. Left with nothing else to do, Veronica decided to give her baby up for adoption, even if that is not necessarily what she would have wanted. Reading about the heart-ache both Bea and Veronica go through but from completely different points of views is what made Finding Colin Firth such a good read.
Gemma is the third woman the readers follow in Finding Colin Firth. She has just lost her job as a journalist, and found out that she is pregnant. All her husband wants is for them to start a family, move to a suburban town where his parents and sister already live, and have Gemma be a stay-at-home mom. Gemma is 29, but she doesn’t feel ready to be a mom yet, and she has no idea what to do. She would love to continue working, but as Alexander points out, she doesn’t even have a job right now. To get away from all the decisions she has to make, she goes to Maine, first to attend a wedding, but she stays longer, and also gets one story to write for a local newspaper.
One of the important questions that comes up in Finding Colin Firth is that more often than no, it is the women who have to change more things in their lives when they become a mother. Career choices, whether or not to stay home with their child(ren), what kind of daycare to choose, work part-time and more. All of this can be very overwhelming, and it is true that even with feminist movements and the equality of rights, a lot of women still face all of these choices. And one of the most difficult ones is that it is expected that all women want to become a mother. Women who do not want to have children, but rather have a career are still stigmatized, and are seen as less normal.
The writing is a little bit stilted at times, but I was so into the story I didn’t really care. The characters are all very well done, and I enjoyed going on this soul-searching journey with the three women who never would have met if not for circumstances of life bringing them to the same place at the same time. Through all of these important questions raised, there are also some very sweet and tentative moments when the three protagonists try to open their hearts once more, to live the life they want to live. Or to find a new dream to dream.
Motherhood wasn’t about who gave birth to you, who adopted you, who raised you. It was about love, commitment, responsibility. It was about being there. About wanting to be there.
Maybe it really did just happen, maybe you could have no maternal instincts, no baby fever, no interest in motherhood, at the moment, anyway, but you had a baby, you looked at your baby’s face, and you fell in love.
“I’ll be there,” Bea said, thinking that Cora Crane would like Veronica Russo a lot.