Today Julie Lawson Timmer’s new novel hit the shelves. Mrs. Saint and the Defectives is the story of nosy neighbors, finding yourself after your life falls to pieces, and ultimately of forgiveness. If you’re intrigued, read on.
Markie is a woman in her 40’s who is navigating the choppy waters of life after a devastating divorce. In an attempt to hide from her problems and fix her finances, she takes a new job and moves herself and her young teenage son, Jesse, to a small bungalow in a new neighborhood far from her society friends. To her dismay, the elderly woman next door is determined to fix Markie’s life, even if Markie expressly forbids it. Mrs. Saint and her band of dysfunctional employees worm their way into every aspect of Markie and Jesse’s life and eventually into their hearts.
I expected this novel to be a lighthearted comedy, but it went deeper than that. The characters had darker backgrounds and were hiding devastating secrets. While they were all good people at heart, they each had their flaws. The end of the novel really got into why they were who they were and added layers to the story.
One thing I didn’t like about the book was that Markie took a long time to have any personal growth. She was selfish and self-blaming which got a bit old. It wasn’t until the last third of the book that she finally started to change and take other people into consideration.
Overall, this was an interesting read. The story had depth and the characters eventually learned to fend for themselves while also taking care of each other. If you’re looking for summer reading without the romantic fluff that’s normally touted this time of year, this would be an excellent pick.
3.75 out of 5 stars