The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson

The opposite of maybe is a decision, any decision, and this book manages to take Rosie on a journey from indecisive going with the flow to actually making decisions, good or bad, and trying to regain her own life.  Rosie and Jonathan have been living together, fairly stagnant, for the last fifteen years.  While Rosie has been a passive participant in their life, she’s never really made any choices or decisions, and that vague disquiet is the jumping off point for her change.

Perhaps most pointed in this entire book is Rosie’s fear of change: her vague unease with her situation not always enough to spur her forward to look for something different.  When Jonathan makes relationship altering choices without seriously considering Rosie’s wants or needs, she starts to see her life as it is: mundane, boring, unexciting. She decides to make the choice to move forward and hope for changes as she moves with Jonathan as he starts his new adventure. 

Dawson uses her skill for characterization to build Rosie into a familiar and knowable woman: slightly disconnected from her own feelings until she is pressed for change.  Completely opposite in personality, Soapie, Rosie’s grandmother is a ‘go for the gusto’ elderly woman, fond of martinis, scrabble, cigarettes and her lover George.  So different from Rosie, Soapie’s no-nonsense live in the moment and choose what you enjoy is an extreme juxtaposition, but particularly helpful as Rosie starts to come into her own.

The story isn’t simple and straightforward, even as the plot moves nicely from one event to the next.  Each character is on a path of discovery and growth with enough roadblocks thrown in their way that passive acceptance is no longer the option. Rosie is learning and growing, and finding that among the mistakes and triumphs she is more than she thought possible, or could ever have dreamed.

Enjoyable with plenty of moments that will encourage reader’s reflection, Dawson has presented a story of one woman who could be anyone in this unpredictable and very entertaining read.

The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson

Title: The Opposite of Maybe
Author: Maddie Dawson
Published by: Broadway Books, Crown Publishing
Source: Blogging for Books
Pages: 386
Rated: four-stars
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A heartfelt, funny, and all-together human novel about the best mistakes a person can make.

   Jonathan and Rosie have been together so long they finish each other’s sentences—so when he (finally) proposes and asks her to move across the country with him, everyone is happily surprised.

 But when things suddenly unravel, Rosie sends Jonathan packing and moves back home with Soapie, the irascible, opinionated grandmother who raised her. Only now she has to figure out how to fire Soapie’s very unsuitable caregiver, a gardener named Tony who lets her drink martinis, smoke, and cheat at Scrabble.

It’s a temporary break, of course—until Rosie realizes she’s accidentally pregnant at 44, completely unequipped for motherhood, and worse, may be falling in love with the sentimental, troubled Tony, whose life is even more muddled than hers.

It’s not until Rosie learns the truth about her mother’s tragic story that she wonders if sometimes you have to let go of your fears, trusting that the big-hearted, messy life that awaits you may just be the one you were meant to live.

A copy of this title was provided via Blogging for Books for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Maddie Dawson

I'm the author of two novels, published by Crown--The Opposite of Maybe, which came out in April 2014, and The Stuff That Never Happened, which was published in August 2010. I love writing stories about second chances and complicated love lives.

I have also written three novels under the name Sandi Kahn Shelton.

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