Whole Latte Life

( 30 )

Overview

From New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio comes a heartfelt story of secrets and second chances.

Sara Beth and Rachel have been wishing on stars for as long as they've been friends. Sara Beth dreams of her own antique shop, with lace curtains hanging in the windows. For Rachel, a little beach cottage will do, where sea breezes and salt water might inspire her sketches. From sharing wishes to cups of coffee at a cherished cafe, they've stitched pieces of their lives ...

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Whole Latte Life

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Overview

From New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio comes a heartfelt story of secrets and second chances.

Sara Beth and Rachel have been wishing on stars for as long as they've been friends. Sara Beth dreams of her own antique shop, with lace curtains hanging in the windows. For Rachel, a little beach cottage will do, where sea breezes and salt water might inspire her sketches. From sharing wishes to cups of coffee at a cherished cafe, they've stitched pieces of their lives together like a patchwork quilt - a soft quilt of friendship they thought they'd hold close forever.

But while celebrating their birthdays in Manhattan, one makes a decision that changes everything. At a midtown lunch, Sara Beth excuses herself to use the Ladies' Room, and never returns. Instead she slips the waiter a note to pass along to her dear friend, asking Rachel to cover for her disappearance.

Sara Beth's escape begins a summer of change, one that eventually brings her antique shop to life, with a price. Though her decision pulls at her marriage and children, the strongest effect is on Rachel. For her, Sara Beth's disappearance brings a solitary Mounted Police Officer into her life, one who gladly shows Rachel that it isn't always stars that deliver wishes.

Winding from the hidden gems of Manhattan, to a weathered cottage at Anchor Beach, to a mysterious New England carriage house, Whole Latte Life promises that redemption is a tender road worth taking, that secrets and ice cream are worth sharing, that true friendship has the same sweet magic as stardust.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Debut author DeMaio sketches the mid-life crisis of a 40-year-old woman and shows that turmoil can lurk behind even the most serene of façades. Sara Beth Riley is a stereotypical suburban mom with a financially successful and fairly decent husband, three good kids, a nice house, great friends and enviable health. But behind that mask, Sara's soul is actually crumbling. Unlike many content to go through the motions, Sara says "no more," and walks out on her life, her family, her kids and her husband, both literally (for a short while) and emotionally (for an extended time). DeMaio's use of supporting characters to show the impact of Sara's choice on others is an enlightening stroke that adds depth to her character's journey. It also makes Sara appear whiny and unlikable at times, illustrating how unsympathetically the world can perceive those struggling with inner burdens. The author uses Sara's self-obsessed misery as a tool to show the more interesting and powerful paths of the people close to her, including her husband, her best friend and a troubled officer in the NYPD's mounted division. The transformations of the secondary characters make up the core of the book, and the title character sometimes seems little more than a static pawn for the stronger personalities around her. At times the author's style of jumping between past and present, as well as switching viewpoints, makes for jarring transitions. But the moments of confusion are usually made worthwhile by the scene's thoughtful foray into the not-so-simple emotions of those struggling to rebuild in the middle decades of their lives, especially in the shadows of loss and death. Despite the stream-of-consciousness style that leaves the reader feeling somewhat distant from the story, DeMaio pulls off a wandering, thoughtful story that surprises with its insight and emotional impact.
Kirkus Reviews, Critics' Pick - Kirkus Reviews
A thoughtful story that surprises with its insight and emotional impact.
As seen in USA Today - USA Today
DeMaio has penned a heartfelt portrait of two friends at the crossroads of their lives.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466427501
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/12/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 551,818
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She lives with her family in Connecticut. To learn more about the author and her books, visit Joannedemaio.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2012

    Stars, Summer, Friends Walk along the sandy shores of Anchor Be

    Stars, Summer, Friends

    Walk along the sandy shores of Anchor Beach, explore the hidden treasures of Manhattan, wish upon a star. Whole Latte Life is a powerful and eloquent story of friendship, choices and love. I won't soon forget friends Sara Beth and Rachel. I already miss them.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A whole lot of reasons to read!

    Sarah Beth and Rachel, best friends since 8th grade, are in New York City to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Sitting at the restaurant table waiting to start lunch, Rachel is handed a note by the waiter. The note changes everything. Sarah Beth had simply disappeared. Rachel begins to search the city for her dear friend wanting to desperately to help her, while Sarah Beth was reaching out to her mother who’d passed away.

    When Sarah Beth reenters the land of the living, she seems almost shocked that her disappearance had upset and confused those around her. She just wanted to rethink her life, maybe reinvent herself. Instead she has disturbed her children’s lives, shaken her marriage and violated her friendship. Once home, she seems to continue her downward spiral by calling an old boyfriend and hiding things from her husband.

    While Sarah went looking for something new, Rachel found it. Rachel, a widow, finds a new man who came riding his horse right into her life. He is instrumental in helping Rachel see Sarah Beth’s side of things. Even though he and Rachel seem great together, there are so many obstacles in their way.

    I’m trying really hard not to give too much of the story away, which is always hard when you want to sit with a couple of girlfriends and talk about the great book you just read! I think what I loved most about Whole Latte Life it could have gone in so many different directions. The characters were all imperfect.

    I never really connected to Sarah Beth. I would have guessed I would relate to her since I lost my own mother, married with kids (and large age gaps). I suppose had I lost my mom suddenly I would have had a really tough coping with the suddenness of it. I just didn’t understand the whole not opening up to her husband or to her best friend. I suppose both Rachel and Sarah Beth's husband Tom were dealing with other things in their lives.

    Now the romance between Michael and Rachel, this was the story I was most interested in. I was surprised by Michael’s past. I really thought there story was just really sweet and seemed so natural.

    I was surprised there wasn't more discussion about Rachel being a widow. I felt like she would have brought it up with both Michael and Sarah Beth because she also clearly understood how life can change fast and without warning. I would have also thought she would have had issues to deal with since this was her first relationship since her husband's death.

    I know I just pointed out some negatives, but I think it’s because I felt really invested in this story (which I think is a really good thing). I would definitely recommend Whole Latte Life by Joanne Demaio, especially for a book club—lots to talk about!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2012

    Two friends head to NYC to celebrate a milestone birthday - the

    Two friends head to NYC to celebrate a milestone birthday - the 40th! While out enjoying a meal, one friend (Sara Beth) disappears leaving only a note that she needs some time away. The other friend (Rachel) is stuck trying to figure out what should be her next step.

    Told from both of their points of views and even Sara Beth's husband, the reader is easily taken through the story. I was amazed at how flawlessly each character took over the story and I knew who was talking and what was going on. As well, I easily kept each character's lives separate, this is only due to great writing.

    A great book that went a few places that were nicely unpredictable. I would recommend this book to readers who love a deep, heartfelt story with true characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Loved it! Inspiring Read

    Wow. . . I loved everything about Whole Latte Life! This novel is so much more than a romance or beach read --it has depth, meaning, character, charm, and realistic life issues. Joanne DeMaio has a talent for describing every emotion, scent, and feeling of a room or setting, so it draws you into the world of the character. (She must be artistic, as being a creative person, we look beyond to grasp each element and feeling).

    An inspiring read, this novel grabbed me from the front cover to the ending and was hard to put down. You reflect, think, dream, and wonder as an escape while reading and could imagine almost smelling the salt and sea. The characters were engaging, and so enjoyed the perspectives from each of the four characters.

    Loved Michael/Rachel and their time in NYC and oh, did I savor the cottage by the sea (as my kind of place) – Michael is a gem with a past and so romantic--Rachel was perfect for him. The relationship between Tom/Sara Beth was amazing, intimate, and so raw and realistic.

    Rachel and Sara Beth have a dynamic friendship from childhood and the two planned a girl’s weekend in NYC to celebrate their 40th birthday. However, Sara Beth is going through some trying times and the walls are closing in; however, she does not express her feelings to her friend, instead she uses the weekend as her escape to be alone to think and decide her direction and her future.

    Her mom has recently died, as the two were planning on opening an antique shop. It never happened and then her third child came along. As a lot of mothers with children who have put dreams on hold – she runs from her husband Tom, and thinks of her carefree and free spirited days traveling abroad and an old flame in Italy, while talking with her deceased mother. The worst she leaves her best friend sitting at the restaurant with only a note. She wants balance and clarity and her mind is so crowded with her life she cannot think.

    Rachel on the other hand wants to help her friend and searches all over Manhattan, and meets a policeman who also changes her life. Her husband died almost two years earlier, with a daughter in college, and dreams of a seaside cottage and painting. Her friendship with Sara Beth is important to her and she is caught between honoring her friend’s request and calling her family.

    From Manhattan, historic town in Connecticut, to an adorable cottage at Anchor Beach on Long Island, to a mysterious New England carriage house with antiques, Whole Latte Life is about redemption, second chances, forgiveness, taking chances, choices, loss, unconditional love, friendships, secrets, romance, and magic! (makes you want to wish upon a star tonight)

    I would highly recommend this read along with Joanne’s two newer novels, Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, and Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes – all 5 star winners!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2012

    Rachel and Sara Beth have been best friends forever. Ever since

    Rachel and Sara Beth have been best friends forever. Ever since their school days their lives have moved along parallel paths, wishing upon stars and celebrating birthdays together. Like their fortieth birthday, which they're celebrating in Manhattan: staying at The Plaza; planning outings, like breakfast at Tiffany's; climbing to the top of the Empire State Building; and just sharing the moments.

    But something happens on their first day that changes the course of their lives for months to come. While eating lunch, Sara Beth gets up to go to the rest room...and then disappears.

    Later, the waiter delivers a note asking Rachel to give her time; she needs to get away; please don't call anyone.

    Frantically the search begins, however, since Rachel cannot just go on without trying to find her. She meets up with a mounted police officer named Michael, who gives her advice and then starts helping her look.

    Throughout this wonderfully layered story, we can identify with one woman's quest to find herself by pulling and tugging at the threads of the life she's created. She explores the what-ifs, the roads not taken. She tries to deal with the loss of her mother and the loss of a special shared dream. Meanwhile, the frayed connections between the two friends take Rachel along another path. A journey of her own that will lead to unexpected joy.

    Whole Latte Life is a lyrical, poetic foray into finding oneself and renewing old ties. It is a tale of loss, grief, and healing. It is a story that reminds the reader of the importance of family, friendship, and love. Five stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Would you leave everything behind to know who you are? That&rsq

    Would you leave everything behind to know who you are?

    That’s exactly what Sara Beth Riley does, she leaves her friend alone in New York while she goes off to find herself. Her best friend Rachel plans a Girl’s Weekend to celebrate their 40th birthdays and Sara Beth is there one minute and gone the next. Sara Beth’s journey to find who she really is or change into the person she thinks she needs to be leaves a lot of collateral damage touching both her best friend and her own family. It sets off a summer from Manhattan to a cottage by the sea, a carriage house to a dream house. How much will her decision cost Sara Beth? Her best friend, her husband, her dreams….plus can she come to grips with what is already gone?

    Dollycas’s Thoughts
    This story took this reader on quite an emotional roller coaster and I have to be very careful with this review not to give the story away.

    I went from thinking Sara Beth was quite selfish to come to a bit of an understanding of what she was going through. I felt so sorry for Rachel being left in New York wondering if her friend was dead or alive. I wanted to strangle Sara Beth for putting her through that. But Rachel meets someone wonderful as she is surviving the mess Sara Beth made and turns lemons into lemonade.

    It is extremely easy to identify with both Sara Beth and Rachel. They are both complex characters dealing with monumental issues, each handling them very differently. Sara Beth’s way was much more extreme, wavering between mid-life crisis and scary mental breakdown.

    The story was a true test of love for both characters, the choice to move on or run away. Self love, mother’s love, second chance at love, true love. The bonds made with best friends, spouses, our children, our family, the bonds that bend but don’t break.

    DeMaio has written a truly endearing story that will leave us all star gazing and wanting to be kissed in the moonlight!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2012

    Perfect with your coffee ... There was so much that I loved abou

    Perfect with your coffee ... There was so much that I loved about this book - the friendship, romance, settings, and bonds between mothers and daughters. The book explores moments that shape the characters, connecting Sara Beth, her Mom, Rachel, Michael. It's those moments that feel so real, that I could relate to. Love this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Hood

    Nods

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Just ok

    I finished it but I skipped some too. Slow in places and i found sara beth to be an annoying character.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Female friendships

    Great story with female friendships.

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    Sarah Beth and Rachel go to New York to celebrate turning 40





    Sarah Beth and Rachel go to New York to celebrate turning 40.   Things do not quite go as planned, leaving Rachel trying to enjoy her weekend, while Sarah Beth goes about trying to figure out her life. 
    Rachel meets New York police officer Michael while in New York.  When it is time to go home they decide to “try” their relationship long distance.   Rachel has the death of her husband still to deal with and is worried about moving on.   Michael has a demon that he is dealing with.  Can these two beat their own hold ups about their lives and make each other happy?




    Sarah Beth uses the trip to New York to start the journey of a life.  Some may call it a  mid-life crisis, but really she just wants to find herself.  Marriage and motherhood have taken over her life and she feels like all she was is gone.   The death of her mother has also been a huge issue for her to overcome.  The grief she feels holds her back from enjoying her family and life.




    Which woman did I like better?  That is such a toss up.  




    I felt sad for Sarah Beth.  To feel she lost her life and is floundering trying to get it back made me very sad for her.  I wanted to her reconnect with her husband and her kids.  I was very concerned that she was throwing her family away and would realize that the life she had was enough for her.   Tom, her husband, bothered me.  He was concerned, but he didn’t seem very supportive.  Although I did understand that he had a lot thrown at him while Sarah Beth rediscovered herself, probably more than most husbands deal with.   Between working full time and taking care of the kids there was not much time for him to take care of Sarah Beth.  By the end of the novel I could feel how strong Sarah Beth had become.   She came to terms with her mother’s death, while still missing her.  She became a mother again. She became a wife again.  Most importantly she found herself and her calling and succeeded in it. 




    Rachel was not someone I connected with.  I understood the rift between Sarah Beth and herself .  But I struggled with her not forcing them to deal with it.   For how long and strong their friendship was suppose to be,  it seemed to me that she gave up on it to easily.    Now, her relationship with Michael was probably my favorite storyline.  To see him slowly give himself to her and for her to be open to being with him was so much fun for me.   I looked forward to the chapters of their stories.  The fact that they both had baggage, and who at 40 won’t, only added to the story.  








    Joanne DeMaio did it again.  This is the second book of hers that I have read and she had me from the beginning.  I could not read fast enough or long enough to satisfy my need to know.  This is a book my Mom’s Book Club chose to read and I cannot wait to discuss it.  I will happily recommend this to all my friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    Can't finish it...

    This book was boring and too choppy and frankly i gave up on it. The characters are not interesting. It's just too broken up and it never got interesting enough for me to keep reading...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    This is sophia this book is better than the coffe book

    Asom

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Recently I read a very thought provoking book written by Joanne

    Recently I read a very thought provoking book written by Joanne DeMaio. I assumed it would a lighthearted summer read for my afternoon breaks. I was so pleased to find this story is not just another quick read! The main characters in the book are overtaken with emotional upheaval in their lives. As each faces and confront midlife changes and decisions, they find the consequences of their deeds have a wide ranging repercussion for other family members.

    Two best friends set out on a planned 40th birthday trip to New York with the highest expectations of fun and adventure during this special week-end. Rachael, a widow and mother to a college age daughter looks so forward to the shopping, coffee shops, and entertainment. Sara Beth, married, mother of three has a change of plans for the weekend, unknown to Rachael. I wont post spoilers, but impulsive actions and following life events bring a domino effect for both the friends which are totally unforeseen. Usually the friends meet for walks each day and end up discussing their busy day at a favorite coffee shop, but something happens to change this comfortable friendship.

    Rachael's dilemma: What if ...your closest friend went mysteriously missing and you were asked not to intervene? What if ... you felt torn between loyalty to your best friend and the need to help her in the midst of erratic behavior? What if...you found your friend had kept important secrets from you and was acting like a different person? What if...you stumbled upon a new love but would have to move from your comfort zone to accept this gift?

    Sara Beth’s dilemma: What if...you could change the course of your life for three days? What if...during your grief you could stay in contact with your recently departed mother? What if...you must choose to continue to live a mundane life of service to family and deny the person you really feel you are inside? What if...you have what you want within your grasp and in a few moments it is all taken away?

    Joanne Demaio has written a wonderful story which leads the characters toward answers as they seek peace and solace in the comfort of time away at an old beach cottage. The book is carefully written about the connections of family, friends, and relationships. Sometimes the best therapy and healing for damaged hearts can be found on the sandy shore with a soft beach breeze to caress your soul.

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  • Posted July 11, 2013

    Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio  is a wonderful summer time re

    Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio  is a wonderful summer time read. I so enjoyed my journey with Rachel and Sarah Beth as they went through many changes in their life. This book is full of emotion, I found myself both laughing and crying my way through the pages. Joanne Demaio has created characters in this book that I could instantly bond with. 




    Sarah Beth's life is completely turned upside down by so many losses. I totally felt all her emotions with her along the way. Sarah Beth is very lucky to have some wonderful people behind her as she tries to find herself after all the trauma she has been through.




    Rachel is a wonderful best friend to Sarah Beth, she is also a woman who has experienced loss herself. She does her best to help Sarah Beth through all the changes in her life. I admired her for standing behind her best friend when times were tough. Rachel also encounters some unexpected changes in her life.




    Whole latte Life is a very emotional read with the characters loss of loved ones and dreams, the strength of love to get through anything, dreams that really can come true and the unexpected joy of finding love again. I love to feel connected to the character I'm reading about and Rachel & Sarah Beth fit that bill completely. I admired their long standing friendship and the ability of their love for each other to over come some obstacles that developed through the story. I don't want to give to much away to spoil this wonderful story for you. You will have to check it out for yourself and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I look forward to reading more work by Ms. DeMaio, I can't wait to see what wonderful story she puts together next. 

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  • Posted July 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    We all need to have options Sara Beth and Rachel decide to take

    We all need to have options

    Sara Beth and Rachel decide to take on New York to celebrate their 40th birthdays.  
    Fun was expected but no one saw the transformation that would happen coming.

    Sara Beth is trying to get over her mother’s death and figure out a way to have her dreams
    fulfilled and still be a wife and mother.  Sara Beth wanted to start her antique business but that dream
    seems to be getting away from her as well.  So going to New York opens the door to exploration of the city
    and the adventure of being the Sara Beth she envisions.  Rachel is terrified when Sara Beth takes off
    during their trip but a police officer she thought was rude turns out to be a salvation.  
    Michael is full of stories and provides a wonderful distraction.  When they return home everything is as different as it is the same.

    Sara Beth faces her demons in the life and loss she is mustering through while Rachel starts to see
    that she too has to let go of unresolved pain to start again.  Hearts will be broken, friendships tested,
    and relationships strained but sometimes change brings growth which is always a good thing.

    Joanne Demaio captures with the perfect wording what every woman feels at some point in her life, overwhelmed.  
    It takes one with wonderful life experiences to write something readers can relate to and Ms. DeMaio surely has that gift

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Easy Read

    This was an easy read and enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Good Book Not Great!

    Good book but not the best writing. Through out the book I found myself to be a little lost and confused. Hard to follow at times.

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  • Posted March 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio This story is about 2 women wh

    Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio
    This story is about 2 women who are friends and in the present day they agree to spend a few days in NY. After shopping and a lunch Sara Beth leaves a note and takes off. Rachel is handed the note and does as she's asked, not to alert anyone but she needs a few days to find herself.
    They've just turned 40 and Sara Beth has recently lost her mother and is at wits end what to do with her life and remembers the past, romances and life choices.
    Rachel has lost her husband and has a college daughter and while in the city finds a new man in her life. He is so passionate to her, the places he takes her as he introduces her to his life.
    As we go back in time to discover their secrets we are also brought into the present where things do work out as they each take on new things.
    Love volunteer work with the flowers and the carriage house and especially the summer cottages with the names and what they symbolize in the story.
    'mystical healing power of the salt air' love this phrase.
    Not sure which of the woman's' life's I like best. They both do their own thing and it's the journey and process that leads them where they end up, loved the journey.

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  • Posted March 11, 2013

    Highly Recommend if You're a Romantic

    Two friends celebrating their 40 Birthday in New York, (live in Conn.) During coffee on the fist day one friend leaves a note with the waiter to wait 30 minutes (?) and give to her friend. The note says I need some time alone, don't worry I'm okay, and please don't tell anyone else. You just have to read the rest, you are able to follow the both and see the outcome. The story deals with mid-life change, grief, finding new love, and of course Friendship.

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