Published by BERKLEY on April 20, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I was first drawn to Amy E. Reichert’s new novel, The Kindred Spirits Supper Club because the cover is so sweet, but let me tell you, the story inside is even sweeter and sure to leave you with a smile on your face.
Sabrina Monroe is a journalist. She loves to write and thought this would be the perfect job for her. There’s just one problem; Sabrina is an introvert and has anxiety, which makes it nearly impossible for her to call and interview people so she can actually get the information she needs to write her articles. Her anxiety has cost her more than one job over the years and when we first meet Sabrina, she is jobless and living at her parent’s house in a small town in Wisconsin, trying to regroup.
Sabrina is, by far, one of the sweetest, most lovable main characters I think I’ve ever come across. I can’t even express how much I both adored Sabrina and related wholeheartedly to her introverted personality and her anxiety. Even though she has lost her job and is stuck working as a duck tour guide driving amphibious vehicles all day and working for someone who actually used to bully Sabrina when they were in school together, Sabrina is still a walking ray of sunshine. She spreads kindness wherever she goes, whether it’s to the library where she leaves $5 bills inside of her favorite books for other readers to find and treat themselves or to the laundromat where she’ll leave stacks of quarters on machines so some lucky person can do a load of laundry on her. I was invested in her happiness within a few pages of watching her in action. I mean, seriously, how can you not root for someone who is so utterly kind?
I also very much liked Ray Jasper, a new local restaurant owner, who becomes instantly smitten with Sabrina as soon as he sees her in action at the local waterpark, picking up strangers’ dropped towels and rehanging them so they’ll be nice and dry when they return for them. Like me, Ray is immediately struck by Sabrina’s kindness and he is determined to get to know her better. What’s great about Ray is that he not only appreciates how kind Sabrina is, but he could actually give her a run for her money in the kindness department because he’s also a sweetheart. I immediately wanted them to get together because they each deserved someone as sweet as they were, so they were a perfect match.
In addition to cheering on this adorable two-some, I also loved that this story has an element of magical realism in it. The women in Sabrina’s family have a rare gift – they are able to see local spirits who passed away, leaving behind unfinished business. Whether it’s to let a cheating spouse know they didn’t get away with the cheating or to help dispose of some adult toys the deceased doesn’t want their family to discover, Sabrina and her mom help these spirits to wrap up their unfinished business so that they can move on and rest in peace. There’s one spirit they haven’t been able to help though, a young woman named Molly. Molly died long ago as did the person she has unfinished business with, so she is stuck in a kind of limbo and hangs out with Sabrina. The two of them have become practically like sisters over the years and Molly is as delightfully upbeat and kind as Sabrina is. Even though she can’t move on, Molly does everything she can to help other spirits move on and she’s also determined to play matchmaker for Sabrina and Ray, which leads to some funny moments. Sometimes magical realism doesn’t work for me, but it’s honestly just perfect for this story since the story itself is pretty magical.
If you’re into charming small town romances with absolutely adorable characters, you’re going to want to check out The Kindred Spirits Supper Club.