St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets by Annie England Noblin (Review by Madhura Mukhopadhyay)

1 min read

Rating: 3/5

When Maeve Stephens gets mugged, fired and watches her boyfriend kiss someone else on live TV all on the same day, she is about ready to go into hiding forever. But life appears to have other, messier plans. A phone call informs her that her birth mother had recently passed on and willed all her earthly belongings to Maeve. Although reluctant to get involved in the life of a woman she barely knew, Maeve makes the trip to Timber Creek village to meet her past.

This book starts out as an easy-breezy light read but gets a bit darker as you progress. However, when I finished it, I could not give it more than 3 stars. While I sympathized with Maeve’s difficult and possibly highly unusual circumstances of having to unravel her parents’ past, it was often hard to believe she was thirty-six years old. For the most part, she comes across as a petulant and whiny teenager.

I also found it rather bizarre that the plot barely mentions the St Francis Society for Wayward Pets, in spite of it being the title of the book. While we do find out who and what this society entails, it is by no means the crux of the story, as the title otherwise suggests.

Nevertheless, all is not lost with this book. I loved Holly- Maeve’s best friend who runs an underground feminist newspaper riotously called Bitch Rant. I thoroughly enjoyed Maeve’s dynamics with her adopted family who are both endearing and exasperating like every regular family. So, all in all, this book could have been an easy, heartwarming read replete with adorable dogs. All it needs is a bit of finesse and a new title.

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