In the summer of 1980, Annie, fresh out of graduate school, escapes a doomed engagement by fleeing to the Costa del Sol in Spain. The young traveler is seduced by the striking landscape and the shimmering sea, but not as profoundly as she was by Francisco, a local musician with a complicated past and a troubled soul. Her adventures propel her into adulthood and a life teased with what might have been.
Twenty-six years later, Annie's teenage daughter Marielle, curious about her mother's stories, searches for Francisco while on a backpacking trip through Spain. When Marielle's search is successful, Annie's thoughts return to her romantic past amidst the magnificent backdrop of the steamy Mediterranean coast. Francisco's unexpected reappearance ignites powerful feelings she didn't know were still simmering.
Annie obsessively questions every decision she made that summer and wonders about a life that could have been hers had she stayed. She is torn between her love and devotion to her husband and the intercontinental pull to the life she has fantasized about for decades.
Will she sacrifice the life she's built with her husband for one that nearly was hers so many years ago?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite This Nearly Was Mine by Nancy Farkas relates the life of Annie, a social worker who goes to Spain in 1980 after a broken engagement. She meets Francisco, a handsome local musician, and the two have a brief relationship. Annie returns to the United States, marries Mathew and has children. She speaks fondly of Francisco and her time in Spain, and twenty-six years later, her daughter Marielle locates him. This stirs Annie’s feelings as she remembers her naivety, and a past filled with bittersweet memories. Annie is still insecure about her life and often feels unappreciated by Mathew. Her renewed friendship with an old flame opens emotional scars with some regrets. She compares her relationship with Mathew and Francisco as both men show their love and support in different ways. This Nearly Was Mine is an intense and nostalgic drama by Nancy Farkas. It is narrated by Annie who still displays a bit of naivety, but she retains a sense of humour, while struggling with her complex emotions. Nancy Farkas writes very nicely and with compassion. She approaches the story in a straightforward, unpretentious writing format. This is so evident from the first page and continued to the conclusion. Her characters are very interesting, and a few are based on the author’s own family and friends. There are several characters who have realistic issues which are amusing, sad and painful at times. This Nearly Was Mine is a novel that both men and women will appreciate reading.
This is a fun read for anybody who wonders what it would be like to have a lost love come back and be a part of their present life - including their husband and children. Annie, the main character, is funny with a strong personality and an identifiable voice. Husband Matthew will be familiar to all the women with workaholic husbands. I loved the Afterword, with comments from the real-life people who inspired the characters. Definitely put this on your list to read!