The Wait is Finally Over with Jenn McKinlay's Wait for It
Jenn McKinlay is one of my favourite cozy mystery authors and after reading Paris is Always a Good Idea earlier this year and loving it, I have been anticipating Wait for It ever since she announced it several months ago.
Wait for It is written in dual perspectives (a method that is one I am greatly appreciating), of protagonists Annabelle and Nick. Annabelle is a freelance graphic designer in Boston who hasn’t hit 30 yet but has two ex-husbands under her belt; meaning she falls hard and fast when it comes to love. After a near re-proposal from ex-husband #1 lands her into the hospital and having to wait for something to “pass” (this part had me in stitches!), she accepts a job offer as a creative director for her best friend’s design firm in Phoenix, Arizona.
Nick is Annabelle’s landlord of the guesthouse located on his property that she is renting. After several rules and notes later, the people pleaser in Annabelle makes it her goal to finally meet her landlord in person who has been holed up in his massive house for the entire few weeks she has been there. She is surprised to find that Nick is not who she thinks he is and one of my favourite moments was when they finally meet.
I loved the build up in this story and that Nick’s past was a heartbreaking one, which made Nick a grumpy and a hold-everyone-at-arm’s-length man. This provided a layer of depth that made the story more profound. I thought Jenn developed and called upon Nick’s mental health issues in an impressive way and helped communicate that the symptoms from mental health issues can take on so many different forms.
Annabelle’s character is so different than me that I can’t relate to her but she was hilarious and her freespirit, reckless demeanour shone through with this quote:
Nothing makes me doubt my own decisions more than other people telling me that I’m doing the right thing. It’s as if their approval is a red flag warning me away from logic and reason. I think it’s my freewheeling impulsive nature that rejects positive reinforcement, as if because people approve of what I’m doing, then surely I must be making a mistake.
And I loved that Belle was a graphic designer because there were quotes in this book that I could so relate to, such as:
As a graphic designer who had a special place in my heart for fonts and the feelings they could evoke..
And another example of Jenn’s funny and witty writing comes through when Nick is being encouraged by his physiotherapist to check out his tenant:
I saw impotently--which, for the record, is not a word I liked to use in reference to myself in any way, shape, or form--on the bench.
Amongst all the flawed characters, adorable visiting cat and chaotic happenings, I recognized a common thread of love, friendship and realizing that one can be imperfectly perfect for someone else and this story is a great example of this theme.
Thank you to Penguin Random House and The Girly Book Club for the advanced reading copy. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, surrounded by annoyingly happy couples, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She's not even thirty years old, twice-divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal... from her ex-husband. When an opportunity to start over arises, she jumps at it and flees to Arizona for a dream job as a graphic designer.
When she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle moves into a pool house attached to a mansion with a mysterious owner. Having assumed her anonymous landlord, Nick Daire, to be some old, rich curmudgeon, Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets him and finds that he's not much older than her and is in a wheelchair. Nick suffered from a stroke a year ago, and while there's no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home.
Despite her promise to herself not to get involved, Annabelle finds herself irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love.