Alison’s Automotive Repair Manual by Brad Barklay

AlisonsAlison’s Automative Repair Manual by Brad Barklay

Description from Goodreads

A widow in her mid-thirties, Alison has been mourning for two years. Now living in small town West Virginia with her sister Sarah and brother-in-law Bill, Alison is unable to move on with her life. Finally, she promises Sarah and Bill that she will start over—once she restores the abandoned, nearly ruined 1976 Corvette she found rusting in the garage and immediately loved. Unfortunately, Alison doesn’t know the first thing about cars, and the fact that the townspeople (with the exception of a cute demolition man) find a woman messing with automotive parts bewildering doesn’t help.

With beautiful frankness and surprising hilarity, Brad Barkley tells of a gutsy woman’s attempts to overcome loss, and fit into a close-knit community, in a triumphant look at grief, love, loss, and moving on.

I gave this book four stars out of five

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading this book. This book was a relatively easy read, holding the readers interest and attention right to the end. I found myself wanting to know how things turned out between the main character Alison and the Corvette, Max, and the townsfolk. In some instances these relationships were resolved, but in others the reader was left to keep guessing. I would have liked a clean resolution to the relationship between Alison and Max, but this was left for the reader to decide.

It was the story of a grieving widow coming to terms with her loss and moving on with life. She did this through the rather unusual therapy of rebuilding an old car with absolutely no prior knowledge. She enlists the help of a young man that she soon finds herself developing feelings for. It is a heart-warming story of self-discovery and dealing with the loss of a loved one.

I loved the protagonist Alison and the growth of her relationships with not only the townsfolk, but also with the town itself, and the car that she was restoring. We are shown how she begins to heal and find a way to move on, through her work on the car, but also through the death of a friend. She grew to a greater understanding of the complex nature of a small town and the interpersonal relationships between the townsfolk, and also between the townsfolk and outsiders, of which she was considered one.

I found it a refreshing, fun read that always held the attention. It even came with handy tips about automotive repair, with a snippet from a Haynes manual, at the conclusion of most chapters. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a feel good book, dealing with the difficult subject of loss, in an easy relaxed manner.

This review is based on a digital review copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher.

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