Today’s feature is an ARC that I am excited to read from a favorite author. Barbara Delinsky’s newest book: Blueprints, is the story of two strong women who must remake themselves when circumstances change.
The rain let up just in time. The final day of taping for the spring season of Gut It! was about to begin, and though the sun hadn’t yet appeared, Caroline McAfee’s hopes were high. Well behind the stream of work vehicles pulling up on the road, the western sky was giving way to scattered patches of blue, as the June breeze pushed gunmetal clouds east, toward Boston and the sea.
How to describe what she felt as she stood at the head of an all-new cobblestone drive looking at the rebuilt facade of what once had been a weary old Cape? There was relief that the hard work was done, and surprise—always surprise—that everything had come together so well. There was also a sense of ownership. Caroline hadn’t asked to be the mouthpiece of the show, but after nearly ten years as host, it was her baby as much as anyone’s.
Teaser: Jamie McAfee would always be her parents’ child. It didn’t matter that she was twenty-nine and financially independent. When it came to her mother and father, she was still the little girl whose life had been shaped by their divorce and her need to please them both—which was why she was increasingly anxious as she drove across town for a quick breakfast with her dad. (p. 8).
Blurb: Blueprints, the new novel from bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, is the story of two strong women, Caroline MacAfee, a skilled carpenter, and her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. The day after her 56th birthday, Caroline is told the network wants Jamie to replace her as the host on Gut It!, their family-based home construction TV show. The resulting rift couldn’t come at a worse time.
For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to organization and planning, she is now grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn’t want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!
For Caroline, hosting Gut It! is part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. When her ex-husband dies, she is thrust into the role of caregiver to his aging father. And then there’s Dean, a long-time friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.
Who am I? Both women ask, as the blueprints they’ve built their lives around suddenly need revising. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other.
What do you think? Could you immerse yourself in this one? I know that I am eager to begin.