All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle
So often we forget the lives of those around us because we are too consumed by our own. This novel made me stop and realize that, yes, this moment in life is busy, but this moment in someone else’s life may be lonely.
Hubert is an elderly man who prefers to be alone, but his daughter regularly calls to ensure he is getting out of the house and making friends. To avoid disappointing his daughter, Hubert creates fictional friends, which works until she says she is coming to visit. Hubert is such a lovable character, it makes the twist all the more emotional.
Home or Away by Kathleen West
Leigh is a former Olympic hockey hopeful, whose young son now plays hockey in Minnesota, where Leigh’s old teammate, Suzy, is a youth coach. Leigh and Suzy have a complex relationship, each knowing the extremes the other was willing to take in an attempt to make the Olympic team.
Leigh is a fiercely competitive woman, driven to win, who feels the pressure of men with influence. This book delves into the politics and intensity of youth athletics. It also grapples with the choices parents make for their kids and how much kids want to please their parents. West manages to weave together these heavy topics with wit and charm. This is the perfect Minnesota novel.
Amy Sundet and Katie Timcho are local book reviewers. They can be found @overbookedmoms on Instagram.