This month's book club selection was It All Comes Back to You by Beth Duke. It is the story of Violet, a young woman in love in 1948. Life, as it usually does, twists and turns taking violet to unexpected places and people. We watch as she loses one love, finds and loses another, and learns how to live her life for herself. This is also the story of Ronni, the young nurse who cares for Violet in her old age. Violet becomes the mother Ronni wishes she'd had as a young child. When Violet passes away, she leaves Ronni the hefty task of writing her life story, finally revealing decades of secrets.
I enjoyed how this book alternated between the past, Violet in the late 1940s to the early 1960s, and Ronni in the present. I enjoyed the slow reveal of all the details of Violet's complex lifetime wrapped up in this sweet old lady Ronni meets and comes to love. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the writing. The premise of this book is that Ronni has to write a book with no writing experience whatsoever. This is Duke's third book, but the writing still felt like a debut, self-published novel. There was no depth, no texture. I know I was supposed to really love Ronni, but I just never felt like I connected with her. There were interesting surprises, but some of them felt forced and not organic to the characters, as if they were there just for the sake of a twist. This book has great reviews on GoodReads, but I was kind of disappointed.