Tif Marcelo comes to the blog with a story of family, history and finding your roots in
Once Upon a Sunset
Diana is an OB/Gyn and loves her job – even when she has issues with the ‘inequities’ in the hospital’s policies regarding insured versus VIP patients. And, while doing entirely the right thing for her patient turns out to be entirely the wrong thing in terms of the hospital’s administration, it does give her time to help her mother sort out her grandmother’s belongings before her “bucket list’ trip with her friends, and be there for the ‘rehab’ planned for her townhouse. A rehab planned with her now ex-fiancé, another doctor at the hospital she works at. In the midst of all of the upheaval in Diana’s ordinarily very structured and ‘no surprises’ life there are twists – twists that she doesn’t want to acknowledge – but curiosity has more power than she ever expected.
Diana’s mother Margo raised her alone – much as Margo was raised by her grandmother Leora. Long buried history is contained in a box of letters from Antonio (her grandfather) to her grandmother Leora, and this opened questions about other relatives, the stories they took as truth, and some lingering desire to learn of their roots. While Diana decides to use her ‘break’ from the hospital to follow up a lead from a private investigator, Margo’s plan is to head off to New Orleans, then California and elsewhere with her friends – their bucket list trip destined to be an Instagram sensation.
This was lovely and managed to encompass al of the hope, questions, hurts, anger, forgiveness and frustrations that must have accompanied the ‘true’ reason that Antonio never returned to the states to claim Leora or his daughter Margo. Snippets of family strife from the ‘new relations’ appearing, protectiveness over what is seen as “their domain’ and the indomitable Flora, wife of Antonio and a woman of consequence even at the ripe age of 100, the story takes emotions, questions, mixes in a ton of history from the Filipino perspective and tempers it all with the joy of family, acceptance and love. Learning who you are, and finding answers to questions that you hadn’t even asked yourself – at least not consciously, all blend into a story that is easy to read, engaging and heartwarming. A favorite for the people, the characterizations, the emotions and the ability to tackle difficult subjects and make them make sense – Marcelo’s family and friendship-based stories are first rate.
Title: Once Upon a Sunset
Author: TIf Marcelo
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Grief, Historic Elements, Humor elements, Interracial, Multi-Cultural, Romantic Elements
Published by: Gallery Books
Published on: 3 March, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 30 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
The author of The Key to Happily Ever After—“a true gem filled with heart, laughs, and a cast of delightful characters” (Nina Bocci, USA TODAY bestselling author)—returns with a heartwarming and charming novel about a woman who travels to the Philippines to reconnect with her long-lost family…and manages to find herself along the way.
Diana Gallagher-Cary is at a tipping point. As a Washington, DC, OB/GYN at a prestigious hospital, she uses her career to distract herself from her grief over her granny’s death and her breakup from her long-term boyfriend after her free-spirited mother moves in with her. But when she makes a medical decision that disparages the hospital, she is forced to go on a short sabbatical.
Never one to wallow, Diana decides to use the break to put order in her life, when her mother, Margo, stumbles upon a box of letters from her grandfather, Antonio Cruz, to her grandmother from the 1940s. The two women always believed that Antonio died in World War II, but the letters reveal otherwise. When they learn that he lived through the war, and that they have surviving relatives in the Philippines, Diana becomes determined to connect with the family that she never knew existed, though Margo refuses to face her history. But Diana pushes on, and heads on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that challenges her identity, family history, and her idea of romantic love that could change her life forever.
Infused with Tif Marcelo’s signature “sexy, adorable, and heartfelt” (Kate Meader, USA TODAY bestselling author) voice, Once Upon a Sunset is a moving and lyrical celebration of love, family, and second chances.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.