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Her life turned upside down by a grim diagnosis, a small-town Maine woman sets about writing a "How To" life manual for her handsome yet hapless husband. Annie and her devoted but comically incompetent childhood sweetheart Sam are the owners and operators of Annie's, a gourmet sandwich shop, home to the legendary Paul Bunyan Special Sandwich--their "nutritionally challenged Her life turned upside down by a grim diagnosis, a small-town Maine woman sets about writing a "How To" life manual for her handsome yet hapless husband. Annie and her devoted but comically incompetent childhood sweetheart Sam are the owners and operators of Annie's, a gourmet sandwich shop, home to the legendary Paul Bunyan Special Sandwich--their "nutritionally challenged continual source of income and marital harmony and local fame." But into their mostly charmed marriage comes the scary medical diagnosis for Annie--and the overwhelming challenge of finding a way to help Sam go on without her. Annie decides to leave Sam step-by-step instructions for a future without her, and considers her own replacement in his heart and their bed.Her best-laid plans grind to a halt with the unexpected appearance of Ursula, Annie's Manhattan diva of a mother, who brings her own brand of chaos and disruption into their lives. Minus Me is a poignant and hilarious novel about the bonds of marriage, the burdens of maternal love, and the courage to face mortality.


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Her life turned upside down by a grim diagnosis, a small-town Maine woman sets about writing a "How To" life manual for her handsome yet hapless husband. Annie and her devoted but comically incompetent childhood sweetheart Sam are the owners and operators of Annie's, a gourmet sandwich shop, home to the legendary Paul Bunyan Special Sandwich--their "nutritionally challenged Her life turned upside down by a grim diagnosis, a small-town Maine woman sets about writing a "How To" life manual for her handsome yet hapless husband. Annie and her devoted but comically incompetent childhood sweetheart Sam are the owners and operators of Annie's, a gourmet sandwich shop, home to the legendary Paul Bunyan Special Sandwich--their "nutritionally challenged continual source of income and marital harmony and local fame." But into their mostly charmed marriage comes the scary medical diagnosis for Annie--and the overwhelming challenge of finding a way to help Sam go on without her. Annie decides to leave Sam step-by-step instructions for a future without her, and considers her own replacement in his heart and their bed.Her best-laid plans grind to a halt with the unexpected appearance of Ursula, Annie's Manhattan diva of a mother, who brings her own brand of chaos and disruption into their lives. Minus Me is a poignant and hilarious novel about the bonds of marriage, the burdens of maternal love, and the courage to face mortality.

30 review for Minus Me

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilguen

    Enchanting! Miraculous! I could label this novel by Mameve Medwed a ´coup de foudre´! Well-developed characters wrapped in an uniquely rich and authentic writing-style, narrated in 26 chapters, of which every single one is embellished with a post-it note. OK, in the begging of the book I was devastated to learn some hard facts about my favorite character. It felt like Mameve Medwed kept punching me right, left and center. I had to keep on reading though, as I had already taken Annie into my hear Enchanting! Miraculous! I could label this novel by Mameve Medwed a ´coup de foudre´! Well-developed characters wrapped in an uniquely rich and authentic writing-style, narrated in 26 chapters, of which every single one is embellished with a post-it note. OK, in the begging of the book I was devastated to learn some hard facts about my favorite character. It felt like Mameve Medwed kept punching me right, left and center. I had to keep on reading though, as I had already taken Annie into my heart: A 37-years old Annie (Arabella) Steven-Strauss, happily married to her high-school sweetheart, Sam, runs their own sandwhich shop in Maine, called Annie´s Samwich Shop, which is thriving and expanding... Not so much her family planning though, since Annie had four pregnancies, which ended in miscarriage, and the last baby was stillborn. On top of all this, she is suspected of having lung cancer!!! In the light of her medical condition, she decides to compose a manual called ´Life Minus Me: A User´s Guide´ that is solely meant for her husband to guide him on how to do everything, when she dies. With all this pain in her life, she receives a call from her estranged mother, Ursula Marishal, who announces to visit her and Sam. Beware, Ursula is an actress who will only travel with her own pillow and Penhaligon´s Blenheim Bouquet candles. So, you get a picture of her. She was the character I despised most in the beginning...and loved most by the end of the story! Following a string of incidents, Ursula will take Annie to New York to get a second opinion from a honcho in oncology. Annie, initially, plans to spend eight hours in Manhattan with Ursula. However, they end up spending there two weeks staying at Ursula´s apartment, crossing the Fifth Avenue, seeing doctors and graciously taking us through culinary delights of New York!! Excusez-moi? Did you just say we are having wild-mushroom fricasse topped by quail eggs and white asparagus tempura, followed by Dover sole, and a Crème brûlée as a dessert? But, wait! Got that wine to go with all that? ;) This is the most beautiful mother-daughter bonding story, whilst Ursula will explain to Annie all the reasons for their estrangement over a bit of Courvoisier and some pastries from Fauchon. Bottom line is ´veritas curat´ as Ursula will repeat, so the truth cured also their mother-daughter relationship. By the end of her stay in New York, Annie, however, feels she has to rush home to Sam, since her manual seems to get implemented while she is ALIVE! The magical interlude of Ursula in Annie´s life will keep causing one Euroka moment after another, all for the benefit of LOVE and LIFE.🧿 THIS novel is definitely going to be a hit in 2021! I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.❤️ #Thank You #Mameve Medwed #BookSirens

  2. 5 out of 5

    Terrie Robinson

    "Minus Me" by Mameve Medwed is such a sweet story! Annie and Sam Stevens-Strauss are the owners of the successful 'Annie's Samwich', home of the famous Paul Bunyan Special, in Passamaquoddy, Maine. They are a crazy-for-each-other, childhood-through-college sweethearts, happily-married, but sadly childless, couple. Annie is beside herself right now because she's just received a terminal diagnosis from Dr. Ambrose and she's super-worried about Sam. You see, he's a bit incompetent at so many simple "Minus Me" by Mameve Medwed is such a sweet story! Annie and Sam Stevens-Strauss are the owners of the successful 'Annie's Samwich', home of the famous Paul Bunyan Special, in Passamaquoddy, Maine. They are a crazy-for-each-other, childhood-through-college sweethearts, happily-married, but sadly childless, couple. Annie is beside herself right now because she's just received a terminal diagnosis from Dr. Ambrose and she's super-worried about Sam. You see, he's a bit incompetent at so many simple things and over-the-top emotional, especially when it comes to anything 'Annie'. She can't do it, she simply can't tell him, she can't get the words out knowing it's going to send Sam into an emotional spin. Annie's answer is to create the 'Life Minus Me: A Users Guide'. It's a 'how-to-do-everything-I-did' instruction manual for Sam to use once Annie is gone. Perfectly perfect, right? That is until Ursula, Annie's Mom drops in for a visit and then everything starts to spin! So begins the story of how secrets are kept from those we love, how everything can change from one day to the next and how important forgiving is to ourselves as it is to those we love most. This is such a loving and thoughtful story with a deep dive into the characters which is always a delight and preference for me. I love both Annie and Sam for their quirkiness and their solid 'AnnieandSam' relationship. Rachel and Megan are perfect mother-daughter, next-door- neighbors, best-friend and Goddaughter roles to Annie and Sam. Even Ursula, Annie's Movie-star Diva Mom, had my vote for best actress in this story! WOW, what a character! And, I love, love, love those strong backstories that hold everything together. Although it is a quick read it does feel a bit long getting to the end at over 330 pages. It could easily be shortened by removing a bit of Sam's incompetence and a smidgen of Annie's long winded explanations and concerns about Sam. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this Women's Fiction novel and highly recommend it to those who love this genre or just enjoy a lovely sweet read! I rate it 3 1/2 stars and increased it to 4 stars for its total sweetness! _________________________ Thank you to BookSirens, Mameve Medwed and Alcove Press for an ARC of this book. This is my honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Desiree

    A poignant tale of love and loss, reconciliation, and appreciating what is truly important in life. This is one of those unique stories that is such a joy to read and would make an excellent choice for book club fans – particularly those who enjoy Women’s Fiction. It’s chock full of meaningful, heart-tugging scenes that really make you think – think about how well you really know the hearts and minds of those you love – and about what it really means to forge ahead and not give up. Annie and Sam A poignant tale of love and loss, reconciliation, and appreciating what is truly important in life. This is one of those unique stories that is such a joy to read and would make an excellent choice for book club fans – particularly those who enjoy Women’s Fiction. It’s chock full of meaningful, heart-tugging scenes that really make you think – think about how well you really know the hearts and minds of those you love – and about what it really means to forge ahead and not give up. Annie and Sam operate Annie’s Samwich, a favorite local eatery in a small town in Maine. When Annie receives an unpleasant diagnosis from her local town doctor, she opts not to tell Sam, her husband and childhood sweetheart. Not wanting to mar the time they have left together with burdensome worry and unpleasant medical treatments, but worried about how her Sam will get on in life without her when’s she’s done, Annie sits down and starts writing him a manual called Minus Me: A User’s Guide. But then Annie’s estranged mother Ursula comes to town unexpectedly and suddenly both Annie’s and Sam’s lives are turned upside down. What was really sweet about this novel is how much Annie and Sam love each other, and how even after a lifetime together, they still had things to learn about one another. If I had one complaint, and it’s a small one, is that the vibe I got off Annie and Sam was more that of folks in their 60’s, rather than their late 30’s, but they are traditional, down home, small town folks, so perhaps they do seem a little quaint. The ending is quite heart warming so when you put it down after that final page, it’s with a smile and sense of contentment. A congratulatory, “I really liked it”, four-star rating, Ms. Medwed – it was a pleasure spending time with your Annie and Sam. Minus Me is available January 12, 2021 in paperback from Alcove Press, a relatively new imprint of Crooked Lane Books that launched its first offerings in Oct 2020. According to Alcove Press’s website, www.AlcovePress.com, Alcove is dedicated to publishing upmarket book club fiction that explores family, friendship, and community. As found at mamevemedwed.com, Medwed is the author of six novels, one of which, How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life won the 2007 Massachusetts Book Award Honors in Fiction. Born in Bangor, Maine, where she is considered Bangor’s other writer (Stephen King holds the title!), she resides in Cambridge, Mass. A big thank you to Mameve Medwed, Alcove Press, and NetGalley for providing a complimentary Advance Reader Copy in exchange for this honest review. #MinusMe #MameveMedwed #AlcovePress #CrookedLaneBooks #NetGalley

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader

    Well I have never read this author before and I can't wait to read more of her work. I felt so connected to the characters and the story although it was hard and heart tugging was done very well. If you are looking for a relatable and realistic read this is it. You are sure to devour it in one sitting like I did. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own Well I have never read this author before and I can't wait to read more of her work. I felt so connected to the characters and the story although it was hard and heart tugging was done very well. If you are looking for a relatable and realistic read this is it. You are sure to devour it in one sitting like I did. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own

  5. 5 out of 5

    Moony (The Burglar Baggins) MeowPoff

    I got this eARC from Netgalley in exhange for a honest review I thought it was going to be a funny uplifting sort of story... but it fell flat to me. I didn`t like the characters, the epilouge were nice. We got a happy ending, and that was a plus. I got this eARC from Netgalley in exhange for a honest review I thought it was going to be a funny uplifting sort of story... but it fell flat to me. I didn`t like the characters, the epilouge were nice. We got a happy ending, and that was a plus.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erica WhimsicalyMe

    I have to say that the subject matter in this book is tough for me. Annie the main character is married to her high school sweetheart and they run a thriving sandwich shop together. Unfortunately, Annie has suffered several miscarriages and a stillborn, that alone was heartbreaking, but now she may have lung cancer. With a grim diagnosis to face Annie decides to try to ease the pain of her husband Sam’s loss by creating a manual called “Life Minus Me.” So, cue the tears because when you’re faced I have to say that the subject matter in this book is tough for me. Annie the main character is married to her high school sweetheart and they run a thriving sandwich shop together. Unfortunately, Annie has suffered several miscarriages and a stillborn, that alone was heartbreaking, but now she may have lung cancer. With a grim diagnosis to face Annie decides to try to ease the pain of her husband Sam’s loss by creating a manual called “Life Minus Me.” So, cue the tears because when you’re faced with a cancer diagnosis folks, this...this is reality. My worst pain or fear has little to do with me and more to do with how my loved ones will deal once I am gone. Sam comes off as slightly inept and Annie is scared to share her diagnosis because she knows Sam will fall apart. Annie is also estranged from her actress mother, Ursula. I wanted to despise this woman and I did....initially. Ursula ends up taking Annie to New York for a second opinion. This part of the book showcased the author’s talent in the best way. For two weeks the mother daughter duo spend their time seeing doctors but also experiencing the sights and amazing cuisine NYC is known for. These scenes were well done, I felt as if I was there seeing, smelling, and tasting everything. It was the highlight of the story for me. Another important aspect of the trip was that Ursula took the time to explain their estrangement to Annie. The two were able to find common ground and bond again. Just so beautiful. All in all this is a character driven story that is sweet! Its a 4 star read for sure!! If you are looking for an emotional yet beautifully written story please pick up Minus Me when it goes on sale tomorrow. Thank you @alcovepress for my advanced copy of the book to review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This is just the sweetest and satisfying book for anyone who needs a life distraction or a pick-me-up. The characters are all relatable and mostly lovable and the setting is a lot of fun. This book starts out with news that should be depressing, but as the main character tackles it, we get to know her life and what is really important to her. The writing is solid and smooth. I recommend this to anyone who needs an escape from their own life.

  8. 4 out of 5

    M. [storme reads a lot]

    I thought this was sweet. Annie wants to take care of her family when she is gone. She starts to make lists and talk about how what to do when she is gone. This reminds me of Postscript, making a list for those who will be left behind when someone dies. It is a lovely story I completed in an afternoon and would love to read more from the author.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rae Quigley

    Review now up on DrunkOnPop: Despite the more serious topics of the book, Minus Me was a thoroughly enjoyable read, maybe even pleasant. Mameve did a beautiful job of describing the small town of Passamaquoddy, and their famous Paul Bunyan sandwiches. Each line was beautifully written and descriptive, and I could really imagine each scene easily. The concept of the plot is interesting – a wife having a health scare and facing the fear and helplessness of a world where she would no longer exist to Review now up on DrunkOnPop: Despite the more serious topics of the book, Minus Me was a thoroughly enjoyable read, maybe even pleasant. Mameve did a beautiful job of describing the small town of Passamaquoddy, and their famous Paul Bunyan sandwiches. Each line was beautifully written and descriptive, and I could really imagine each scene easily. The concept of the plot is interesting – a wife having a health scare and facing the fear and helplessness of a world where she would no longer exist to take care of the people and things she loves. I liked the different post-it note reminders at the start of each chapter, and I loved the idea of creating a manual in which her spouse should continue to live his life. While Annie and Sam were far more co-dependent than any relationships I know of, it made for an even more interesting dynamic when imagining a world in which Sam doesn’t have Annie to rely on. I really enjoyed Minus Me, and my only big issue was that I felt the dialogue was unrealistic. Other than her mother, Ursula, all of the characters talked in the same voice and tone. A voice that was not how I’ve ever heard anyone speak before in casual conversation. Even Ursula, with her snobby tone and random French phrases, didn’t seem entirely genuine. All of the conversations were so serious. They all used big, SAT style words that did not sound conversational at all, and they all seemed to talk with an air of…. superiority? It didn’t matter if it was a “bad boy” character or a 16 year old girl. They all just sounded the same. It was hard to feel close to any of the characters, and then worry about what happened to them, because they just didn’t come off as real. ..... To Read More, Click Here These were my immediate thoughts after reading: "I’ll post a review on DOP soon. But mostly I want to say this book is gratuitous. A mostly enjoyable, easy read. While it has serious topics like cancer, miscarriage, etc it is still all mostly shallow. Which is not to say it is bad, but rather to say it is something that can be enjoyed without worrying about it being too much. A constant lesson in what not to do - be more communicative, forgive past grudges, be more understanding of your parents, and for fucks sake don’t jump to conclusions. Also the ending.... ok."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    A new release from the author of the delightful How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life, Minus Me is the story of Annie’s health scare and what it does to her relationship with her mother and her husband. Sam and Annie are a cute couple who hasn’t quite figured it out yet (has anyone?), but when Annie thinks she’s dying, she writes Sam a manual for how to get along without her, hence the title of the book. Her life-minus-me handbook makes for some really charming, clever reading, but the bi A new release from the author of the delightful How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life, Minus Me is the story of Annie’s health scare and what it does to her relationship with her mother and her husband. Sam and Annie are a cute couple who hasn’t quite figured it out yet (has anyone?), but when Annie thinks she’s dying, she writes Sam a manual for how to get along without her, hence the title of the book. Her life-minus-me handbook makes for some really charming, clever reading, but the bigger problem (than, well, dying) is that these two really don’t know or trust each other well enough for either of them to a) communicate this information to each other, and b) succeed in life if they continue on like this. When Annie is whisked off to New York to see specialists by her difficult mother, a famous actress, they leave Sam completely in the dark. Marriage red flag here—if you can’t tell your husband that your doctor thinks you’re dying and you need a lung biopsy, you have big problems. I got a little frustrated with Annie here, I mean, come on, this is Marriage 101. But as Annie takes us on her journey, we get to know and like her mother better, and while Sam and Annie’s popularity falls with me for a while, they figure it out and become a better couple for it. They’re journey is just that, a journey, not an ending, and I like that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    thebookishkimmy

    I absolutely loved this book. It was sweet and simple and after the intensity of the last couple of books I’ve read, this one was so welcomed. Annie receives some bad news. She’s going to die. What she worries about most, though, is her husband of 17 years, Sam. They were meant to find each other and grow old together, they both agree. Besides, Sam is hopeless at looking after himself - what will he do without her? Annie decides to write Sam a manual for how to live after she’s gone. It’s full o I absolutely loved this book. It was sweet and simple and after the intensity of the last couple of books I’ve read, this one was so welcomed. Annie receives some bad news. She’s going to die. What she worries about most, though, is her husband of 17 years, Sam. They were meant to find each other and grow old together, they both agree. Besides, Sam is hopeless at looking after himself - what will he do without her? Annie decides to write Sam a manual for how to live after she’s gone. It’s full of all the practical day to day things - how to dos, what to dos, where to dos, etc. and most importantly, to fall in love again. It was so charming and full of love. I so enjoyed this book and am so thankful for the advanced copy to read and review. It was delightful and a pleasure to read! If you’re after an easy read that ties itself up nice and neatly at the end, I’d definitely recommend this one!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pearly Williams

    Minus Me is a delightful little book that had a good mix of humor, tragedy, and a timely reminder of how brief life maybe. Loved it from the start. Annie owns a popular sandwich shop in Maine with her husband Sam. They are an inseparable couple who hide no secrets from each other. When Annie receives a devastating diagnosis that she may die of lung cancer, she goes about writing a manual to help Sam carry on life without her. The characters were engaging and easy to relate to. The storyline was Minus Me is a delightful little book that had a good mix of humor, tragedy, and a timely reminder of how brief life maybe. Loved it from the start. Annie owns a popular sandwich shop in Maine with her husband Sam. They are an inseparable couple who hide no secrets from each other. When Annie receives a devastating diagnosis that she may die of lung cancer, she goes about writing a manual to help Sam carry on life without her. The characters were engaging and easy to relate to. The storyline was not complicated and enjoyable. Summary: A lovely afternoon read, that keeps you entertained with a good mix of everything that u may be looking for.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Piepie

    This was a really cute book! The synopsis grabbed me and I was not disappointed. The book took a turn that I was not expecting, and the ending was a little predictable -- but the story had a sweet message to it and makes you wonder what you would do in that situation. Recommended! Thank you, Netgalley, for this arc.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cara Achterberg

    This was a fun read and a great distraction from the current news. I loved the directions Annie wrote for Sam - they were funny and real and heartbreaking all at once. It was a novel way to help the reader understand their relationship. The author has a wonderful sense of humor and draws colorful characters you can't help but love. I looked forward to sitting down with this story every day, and enjoyed the setting, the clever descriptions, and the tidy endings to not just the main storyline but This was a fun read and a great distraction from the current news. I loved the directions Annie wrote for Sam - they were funny and real and heartbreaking all at once. It was a novel way to help the reader understand their relationship. The author has a wonderful sense of humor and draws colorful characters you can't help but love. I looked forward to sitting down with this story every day, and enjoyed the setting, the clever descriptions, and the tidy endings to not just the main storyline but the subplots. Funny, endearing, and clever read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I loved the premise of this book: Annie is living the dream life with her "comically" incompetent husband, Sam. Owners of a famous Maine sandwich shop, their marriage seems unshakable. Until Annie gets a terrible diagnosis and sets about creating a manual for Sam. One that he will use to move on with his life without her. I expected tears. Unfortunately, the book fell a little flat for me. This was mostly because of characters I couldn't connect with and a plot too neatly tied up with a bow. At fi I loved the premise of this book: Annie is living the dream life with her "comically" incompetent husband, Sam. Owners of a famous Maine sandwich shop, their marriage seems unshakable. Until Annie gets a terrible diagnosis and sets about creating a manual for Sam. One that he will use to move on with his life without her. I expected tears. Unfortunately, the book fell a little flat for me. This was mostly because of characters I couldn't connect with and a plot too neatly tied up with a bow. At first I was annoyed with Annie's constant treating Sam like an overgrown child. By the end of the book he deserved nothing more. How many times does Annie try to open up to him and he "doesn't want to hear it." His petulance wore on my nerves. But Annie was no better. Huge red marriage flag when you want to keep the fact that you may be dying from your husband. And likewise when you start meeting with cancer specialists and fertility doctors without him. Then we get to Ursula, who speaks like she's the queen and of course just happens to be able to solve all of Annie's problems. It's all a bit too much. The writing was good and I loved the simplicity of the cover. I really wanted to like book as well. It just wasn't the one for me. Thank you to NetGalley and Alcove Books for allowing me to read an advance copy of this novel for review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Etta

    What would your next steps be after getting a grim medical diagnosis? This novel sets out to show one woman’s journey to what happens after she receives some terrible news and how she moves forward. Annie Stevens-Strauss seemingly has it all with a thriving business and a seemingly perfect marriage. She lives in small town Maine and owns her own sandwich shop that she shares with her husband Sam called Annie’s Samwich. Her husband is a little clueless about life and Annie wouldn’t have it any ot What would your next steps be after getting a grim medical diagnosis? This novel sets out to show one woman’s journey to what happens after she receives some terrible news and how she moves forward. Annie Stevens-Strauss seemingly has it all with a thriving business and a seemingly perfect marriage. She lives in small town Maine and owns her own sandwich shop that she shares with her husband Sam called Annie’s Samwich. Her husband is a little clueless about life and Annie wouldn’t have it any other way. Now with her news in her mind, she now has to determine just how will he and the business get by if one day she is not there. This book attempts to take a humor approach to a subject that typically would be tear-inducing as a loved one might have to face the world without their romantic partner. It was an amazing premise that attracted me to read this novel and unfortunately it just didn’t quite sit right as I didn’t like either main character. No matter how hard I tried, Annie annoyed me and Sam just never fully came together and grew as a character how I would have expected. The novel explicitly states that Annie’s marriage is perfect (to her) and that there are no faults to be found, but within less than a chapter there are tons of red flags regarding their communication with each other. It’s as if Annie has never watched a movie, read a book, or has become aware of the fact that nothing good as ever come from keeping information from their loved ones for the sake of protecting them. To aid Sam into the possibility of getting through the rest of his life without her, Annie sets out to write a manual that includes all the random pieces of information that she thinks will be relevant along with instructions of the next steps. She has ideas for him to move on with the business and his love life. The light-heartedness of the manual’s entries were very entertaining as it makes the reader start to wonder what they would include in their own version of a life manual for those they leave behind in case anything happens to them. Sure, there are wills, but that’s not for how to move forward with the day to day. It was a fantastic concept that drew me to read this book, but it gets overshadowed a lot by the characters and their faults. After visiting her daughter, Annie’s mother Ursula (a famous actress) makes her appearance and becomes a major character as she whisks Annie off to New York to see different specialists using her connections (this made me envious as I wish I had those kind of connections if I ever needed them in the future). Not only does Annie get a chance to visit with a new medical team to further explore her diagnosis, she also gets a chance to explore the high life that her mother leads while sight-seeing and playing tourist in New York. It was nice to see Annie and her mom grow as a mother-daughter team as their relationship is portrayed as strained when told through Annie’s perspective. I honestly could not see how Ursula was a “bad” parent and warranted Annie not fully being on board with her mother. Sure, her mother was over-the-top and went 100-miles-per-minute, but there were no indications that she had any negative traits so it was hard to fully grasp any strain in her and Annie’s relationship (other readers might interpret it differently as this is just how I read the story). I get that Annie had lower self-esteem, but it seems at some point you need to sort of get over it, especially when it’s against your own mother and you also have so many good things going on in your own life (again other readers might think differently). Overall, it’s a very easy to read novel that flows well from the time of the diagnosis to the ending. The events are believable and the thought process behind everything is relatable as some people would act like these characters, even if it’s not exactly how other readers would (myself included). The author wraps up everything nicely so you’re not left with too many unanswered questions at the end. Although, there were many pieces that weren’t my cup of tea, I still enjoyed reading this novel and got through it relatively quickly. As others might interpret the characters and relationships a little differently, I would encourage other readers to give this novel a try and to formulate their own opinions. **Thank you to BookSirens and Alcove Press for an ARC to read and enjoy. Opinions expressed are completely my own.** Check out my other reviews: Chonky Books Review

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristen C

    Thank you to Mameve Medwed for gifting me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Why is such a big deal always made about the first tooth, first step, first kiss, first love? From her perspective, it’s the last of everything that holds more meaning, more power, more poignancy. As a breast cancer survivor (5 years at the time of this post), diagnosed at age 32 when my youngest child wasn’t even a year old yet. To say I can relate to the feelings and emotions going through An Thank you to Mameve Medwed for gifting me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Why is such a big deal always made about the first tooth, first step, first kiss, first love? From her perspective, it’s the last of everything that holds more meaning, more power, more poignancy. As a breast cancer survivor (5 years at the time of this post), diagnosed at age 32 when my youngest child wasn’t even a year old yet. To say I can relate to the feelings and emotions going through Annie’s head is an understatement. The feeling of the hangman’s noose around your neck and closing when you still have so much left to do, to give, to live…I get it. Imagining how your loved ones’ lives will be changed without you in them is unfathomable. With equal parts grim resignation and wry humor, Annie begins this unimaginable task in an effort to help her hapless husband carry on when she is no longer there to help him. Her instruction manual starts out as quick thoughts on post-it notes carried in her pocket (examples of which begin each chapter and were one of my favorite things), but soon she begins a more formal format on her computer. The first entry in this manual that we get to read comes at the end of chapter 7, and I was teary-eyed and emotional after reading it. Just when Annie thinks things can’t get any worse, she learns that her estranged, narcissistic, actress of a mother is coming into town, challenging things she thought she knew about herself, her deceased father, and her mother. And worse, she finds out Annie’s big secret. Smart writing, relatable situations, and humor define this book about the different types of relationships we have: romantic, familial, fraternal, and the things that really matter in life. Medwed has achieved the perfect balance of depth and levity in her story with characters that aren’t always loveable but leave you cheering for them anyway. I could see this as the perfect beach read to escape from reality for a little while. Or as it just releases this month, it’s a perfect wish-you-were-on-the-beach read. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for fans of women’s fiction and book clubbers looking for a new discussion-worthy book. This review also appears on my blog Hooks, Books, & Wanderlust.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Zheng

    Annie Stevens-Strauss is happy in her small-town life, running her small business alongside her loving but kind of clueless husband Sam. Everything seems to be going alright in life, despite some obstacles and annoyances which the reader gets to discover as they read along, until a scary medical diagnoses comes her way out of the blue. So begins Annie's journey to facing her mortality, breaking out of her comfort zone, and rediscovering what family and love means to her... all the while trying n Annie Stevens-Strauss is happy in her small-town life, running her small business alongside her loving but kind of clueless husband Sam. Everything seems to be going alright in life, despite some obstacles and annoyances which the reader gets to discover as they read along, until a scary medical diagnoses comes her way out of the blue. So begins Annie's journey to facing her mortality, breaking out of her comfort zone, and rediscovering what family and love means to her... all the while trying not to spill the beans to those she loves. This isn't the type of book I have taken to reading in recent times, but reading the summary about Minus Me made me think of another book all about love, loss, and moving on that I adored. So I had to give it a go! Thank you to Alcove Press for the e-ARC! I really enjoyed the lightheartedness of the storytelling despite the more serious and somber core dilemma at hand, and the story got some laughs out of me as I read Annie's internal thoughts. At the beginning of the story, I liked Annie, Rachel, and Sam (despite also feeling a bit annoyed at how dependent he seemed) and appreciated that there was definite character growth between Annie and Sam. The best characters in Minus Me (in my opinion) are Ursula and Rachel, however. Mameve Medwed did a fantastic job bringing to life such energetic and hilarious personalities! Overall, the story was generally believable and makes for good "slice of life"/"happy-feels" relaxing reading. It also made me think about how life can really turn on you quick and you never know how you would react in those moments. There were some parts of the story that were somewhat frustrating, but definitely did not make Minus Me difficult to read or unenjoyable. Annie's stubbornness, how unbending Sam was at crucial times, and also some of the comments from Annie about her life did make me roll my eyes a little at these characters. Some of her reactions to trying/discovering new things/places also were mildly frustrating and jumped out at me. But these are supposed to be relatable, flawed characters so definitely not major hindrances to the story. In general, I think this is a funny, quirky, and heartwarming book. An easy, chill read for times when you just want to have a laugh, sigh along with the drama and happy moments, and enjoy something sweet.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chanel Williams

    This book will have you GRIPPED! As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew it would be a good read! I was offered a chance by Book Sirens to select an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of any book from a list of a few hundred in order to give an honest review, after scrolling through a few books I came across this book. After reading the synopsis I knew that this would be a good book, I didn’t realise how good. This is a book I won’t forget in a hurry. I was immediately drawn to Annie, it’s hard n This book will have you GRIPPED! As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew it would be a good read! I was offered a chance by Book Sirens to select an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of any book from a list of a few hundred in order to give an honest review, after scrolling through a few books I came across this book. After reading the synopsis I knew that this would be a good book, I didn’t realise how good. This is a book I won’t forget in a hurry. I was immediately drawn to Annie, it’s hard not to be, especially when the book opens with absolutely shocking news, I was practically shouting at the book, wondering why Annie’s doctor was being such an old fashioned male chauvinistic, although further on I soon warmed to him and was screaming at Annie to please just listen to him! Yes, I was whole-heartedly invested in Annie & Sam from the get-go, the characters are so well written I felt as if I knew them, I felt the highs, tears pricked my eyes through the lows and really empathised with dilemma that Annie was facing. Although Sam seemed like a man-child, which I found slightly annoying at times, especially when we hear some of the backstory of the situations that Annie has had to put up with with Sam (I was totally eye-rolling)Although I blame Sam’s mother, I feel Annie doesn’t help Sam to “grow up” but we do learn that there may be other reasons for her “mothering” him. This book covers themes including marriage, motherhood, mother-daughter /mother -son relationships & makes you think of your own loved ones and how they would cope with you gone, not a lovely thought but one that we must face at some time, sadly, too soon for some. I’m so impressed with the way that Mameve has managed to keep the humour and fun in a story with such a serious subject matter – this is got to be made into a film – It would be an absolute blockbuster. This is my first book of 2021, so glad I chose it – It was time, well spent! I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. I have more book reviews on my blog www.itgirlworld.co.uk

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lori Sinsel Harris

    I finished another of my ARC's ( advance reader copy) this morning. This one was "Minus Me", by Mameve Medwed. I was pleasantly surprised by it since it wasn't the usual type of book I read. The story is about a married couple Annie and Sam, who have been together forever and are completely devoted to each other. Annie is diagnosed with a terminal illness which devastates her and makes her worry about Sam and how he will be able to go on with out her. Failing at finding the right moment to tell I finished another of my ARC's ( advance reader copy) this morning. This one was "Minus Me", by Mameve Medwed. I was pleasantly surprised by it since it wasn't the usual type of book I read. The story is about a married couple Annie and Sam, who have been together forever and are completely devoted to each other. Annie is diagnosed with a terminal illness which devastates her and makes her worry about Sam and how he will be able to go on with out her. Failing at finding the right moment to tell Sam of the diagnosis she decides to wait till after her appointment with a specialist. While waiting Annie starts writing a manual, a guide to life with out her for Sam instructing him on all the little everyday catastrophes that she handles for him. Her mom who Annie doesn't get along well with comes to visit, finds out about Annie's illness and whisks her off to New York City to see one of the best doctors in the country. I liked the character of Annie a lot. I felt she was well developed and very relatable. I also liked the characters of Dr. Buckley and of Ursula Annie's mother. I did not like the character of Sam at all. To me he comes across as a petulant whiney child, that when he doesn't get his way or have things done for him he pouts and has little tantrums. I just didn't like him at all. But that may just mean that his character was well developed also since it provoked such a reaction from me? Maybe so. I guess you'll just have to grab the book when it publishes January 12, 2021 and see for yourselves! I will say there is a nice plot twist that I liked, and the ending was as to be expected after the twist took place. So overall I will give it a 4 out of 5 star rating and recommend for all readers of adult general fiction and women's fiction. #goodreads #minusme #mamevemedwed

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carla Hostetter

    Annie and Sam own a sandwich shop in a small Maine town and live a simple life devoted to each other and making their most famous creation, the Paul Bunyan. They've survived the loss of a still born child and Annie's inability to reproduce and believe nothing can shake their marriage. But when Annie goes to the local doctor to get treatment for a cough, he diagnoses her illness as terminal lung cancer. Annie doesn't believe her hapless husband who went catatonic after losing their child can hand Annie and Sam own a sandwich shop in a small Maine town and live a simple life devoted to each other and making their most famous creation, the Paul Bunyan. They've survived the loss of a still born child and Annie's inability to reproduce and believe nothing can shake their marriage. But when Annie goes to the local doctor to get treatment for a cough, he diagnoses her illness as terminal lung cancer. Annie doesn't believe her hapless husband who went catatonic after losing their child can handle the news, so she spends much of her remaining time writing a manual with instructions of how to care for himself rather than breaking the news. The whole story is told in first person, so we only get Annie viewpoint. Her post-it notes and instructions are often hilarious but it is difficult to believe any man over thirty could be so inept that he needs to be told how to take his clothes to the cleaners. Still, she builds a picture of him doing so many sweet things for her he is worth the trouble. By holding back the truth, she nearly wreaks her marriage, not as strong as it seems. When on impulse she get a new haircut, Sam won't speak or sleep with her because he wasn't consulted first. Later, he is convinced she is having an affair when Annie goes to NYC with her drama queen actress of a mother to seek a second opinion on her condition and stays away a whole two weeks. Upon return, he freezes her out and won't let her explain. Frankly, he seems like no prize to me. And while Annie has always resented her self-centered, neglectful mother, it is Ursula with her money and connections who solves her problems for her. As for the Paul Bunyan, can you really ship sandwiches made on soft rolls and loaded with an onion concoction as well as green peppers and tomatoes, cheese and salami? A half a Subway with less on it barely survives overnight in the fridge. All that aside, it is an amusing read with a ridiculously happy ending for all.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Harwood

    Grab your Paul Bunyan and glass of wine! Medwed does a marvelous job of interweaving the backstory with her present diagnosis with her future plans. There are not the clunky flashbacks that can plague a novel. Rather there are the moments of memory anyone in Annie’s situation would have. I have lost several loved ones in my life. I recall one filled out a “About Me” book in her last days. It was a joy to see parts of her past I never knew. Medwed gives us those insights to Annie throughout the na Grab your Paul Bunyan and glass of wine! Medwed does a marvelous job of interweaving the backstory with her present diagnosis with her future plans. There are not the clunky flashbacks that can plague a novel. Rather there are the moments of memory anyone in Annie’s situation would have. I have lost several loved ones in my life. I recall one filled out a “About Me” book in her last days. It was a joy to see parts of her past I never knew. Medwed gives us those insights to Annie throughout the narrative. I’ll pick one moment to illustrate the almost melodic movement of the story forward while telling us why these characters are so in love: Annie pulls up to where Sam is and considers lying to him about being at the doctor. She reflects how easy her mom could do such tasks (and her mom is definitely coming into the story soon like a whirlwind!), then she tries and tell Sam. In the process she exposes his “foibles” that she finds so endearing and is reminded of the two of them skipping down the high school steps in their youth. Of course, the real impetus of the book is Annie looking forward to a time after she is gone. In particular, how will Sam go on “minus me.” She leaves detailed instruction, including never to mess with the delicious PAUL BUNYAN “Samwhich” at the sandwhich shop. The story has strong, likeable characters, even Ursala. It has enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages. It has moments where you are cheering for Annie and moments where you want to tell her she isn’t making the right decision. Throughout, it reflects how love truly is. It can be hard, it can have times of tension, but if it is true, then as one of Annie’s post-it notes declare, it is all you need. Well, that and a little Hope.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bex

    What a little gem of a book! I really enjoyed this one, it was a lovely simple book which I found really easy to read and left me with a wave of heart warming happiness at the end. Minus Me is the tale of Annie. The story begins in a devastating way, she is given the life changing news that she has lung cancer and will not have long to live. She understandably is hit hard by the news and has to try to figure out what to do with this information. She decides against telling the love of her life, h What a little gem of a book! I really enjoyed this one, it was a lovely simple book which I found really easy to read and left me with a wave of heart warming happiness at the end. Minus Me is the tale of Annie. The story begins in a devastating way, she is given the life changing news that she has lung cancer and will not have long to live. She understandably is hit hard by the news and has to try to figure out what to do with this information. She decides against telling the love of her life, her soul mate and husband Sam as she doesn't want to destroy him too. Instead she decides to create a 'User guide to life without me' to help soften the blow. Her husband Sam is quite inept to say the least and so it makes sense that she would want to spare him from having to deal with this news straight away. What follows is a heart warming story of love, secrets, loss and family ties. I thought this book was going to be a huge tear jerker from the get go but actually it was very uplifting and a lot of the plot lines and characters really made me laugh. They were relatable and humorous. I'll admit at times I just wanted to bang Annie and Sam's heads together, the secrecy began to get very frustrating and unrealistic but then the story would take another turn and I would feel placated a bit more. I particularly loved the side storyline of the mother-daughter relationship between Annie and Ursula. This character plot line highlighted the reasons why Annie chose to live her life the way she did. Overall this character driven story was just lovely. I look forward to finding some more books by this author. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  24. 5 out of 5

    A Reading Girl

    I did not like this book. Period. Annie and Sam are high-school sweethearts, now married and running Annie’s Samwich shop at Passamaquody. She is the practical one in the family, and Sam is the lovable hare-brained one. Her mom, Ursula, is portrayed as a self-absorbed soap opera actress. Annie is diagnosed with a lung disorder and has a little time left. Though the doctor keeps telling her to inform her husband and mother, she refuses, and then sets off on a mission to write 'life instructions’ fo I did not like this book. Period. Annie and Sam are high-school sweethearts, now married and running Annie’s Samwich shop at Passamaquody. She is the practical one in the family, and Sam is the lovable hare-brained one. Her mom, Ursula, is portrayed as a self-absorbed soap opera actress. Annie is diagnosed with a lung disorder and has a little time left. Though the doctor keeps telling her to inform her husband and mother, she refuses, and then sets off on a mission to write 'life instructions’ for Sam minus her. The way she tries to let her husband know of impending doom is comical - she tells him they have to have a will in place. Obviously, he tells her they are healthy and in their 30s, and there is no need to start thinking such dire thoughts and refuses to entertain any more gloomy talks. And she stops telling him. From hereon, I was pretty annoyed with the book and its characters. It felt like a book written for the sake of writing something on the topic. And the manner in which Annie’s thoughts keep darting from one to another - I get it, thats how a person thinks, there are lots of thoughts in someone’s brain at any point in time. But, this is a not a stream-of-consciousness novel - its supposed to be a proper book with a beginning and ending. So, no that too. The ending was sweet - they discover the diagnosis was a false alarm and…wait for it…there was some disorder that prevented her from haing kids that could be treated very easily… and they then go on to have twins who are the lights of their lives. Now it thoroughly feels like a Hallmark movie. I’d rather have the book ending with her death and Sam realising that life does not revolve only around him, and beginning anew.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Mameve Medwed's newest novel, Minus Me, revolves around a woman in her late 30s named Annie. She has faced heartbreak in her life in the form of several miscarriages and a still birth as well as the loss of her father. She and her husband Sam despite their losses have a solid relationship and are successful partners in their own business. Annie receives news from her doctor that she most likely has lung cancer. He advises her to get her affairs in order and to get more opinions on her condition. Mameve Medwed's newest novel, Minus Me, revolves around a woman in her late 30s named Annie. She has faced heartbreak in her life in the form of several miscarriages and a still birth as well as the loss of her father. She and her husband Sam despite their losses have a solid relationship and are successful partners in their own business. Annie receives news from her doctor that she most likely has lung cancer. He advises her to get her affairs in order and to get more opinions on her condition. Instead of biting the bullet and telling her husband Sam about her illness, she instead decides to keep it from him. She loves him even though she knows that she and his mother have spoiled him by doing so much for him. She knows that he will have a hard time and starts to write a guide for him to use after she is gone in order to navigate life without her. I liked this book. I liked the humor it was written with amidst the serious topics included in the story. I'll admit I was frustrated by Annie and the way she dealt with her situation, however, I reminded myself that when faced with cancer people all choose to deal in the best way they know how at the time. Who am I to judge. The book was written in a way that Annie's feelings felt genuine throughout. While I enjoyed the writing, I did get a little bogged down in a few spots. The ending was satisfying. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. I would recommend this book. I think it would make an excellent book club selection with ample discussion options. My sincere thanks to Alcove Press and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read Minus Me and give my unbiased opinion of it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Minus Me by Mameve Medwed is a charming novel that is poignant and surprisingly uplifting. Annie Stevens-Strauss receives a diagnosis that she tries but fails to tries to tell her husband of seventeen years Sam. Since he is pretty hopeless with household tasks, she writes a manual full of helpful hints that range from the everyday to finding love again. Meanwhile, Annie puts off further testing until her self-absorbed mother, Ursula, makes a rare appearance in their small town in Maine. When Anni Minus Me by Mameve Medwed is a charming novel that is poignant and surprisingly uplifting. Annie Stevens-Strauss receives a diagnosis that she tries but fails to tries to tell her husband of seventeen years Sam. Since he is pretty hopeless with household tasks, she writes a manual full of helpful hints that range from the everyday to finding love again. Meanwhile, Annie puts off further testing until her self-absorbed mother, Ursula, makes a rare appearance in their small town in Maine. When Annie is swept off to New York for a doctor's appointment by Ursula, will their unexpected time together be the best or worst thing for their fractured relationship? And what effect will her extended time away from Sam have on their marriage? Annie and Sam own a  very popular sandwich shop so they spend most of their time together. Despite their almost magically happy relationship, they have experienced heartbreaking losses. Annie has always brushed off her best friend Rachel and Ursula's observations that she spoils Sam too much. It is not until she receives her diagnosis that she realizes that Sam might not be equipped for the next stage in life.  In addition to writing the manual, Annie decides to not worry him until she receives confirmation of her doctor's diagnosis. Minus Me is a well-written novel with an engaging storyline and entertaining characters. Annie's unexpected health crisis proves to be a surprising journey of self-discovery and healing. Mameve Medwed  concludes this winsome novel with a heartwarming a epilogue that is sure to delight readers. 

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Thank you to LibraryThing and Alcove Press for this ARC. It's been a while since I've read her books and I was not disappointed. This is her best one yet in my opinion. In the beginning it bugged me that Annie refused to tell Sam about her health problems but then I forgot about it and started enjoying it. You would think it would be a maudlin book since Annie's dying at age 37 of supposedly of lung cancer. She doesn't know how to tell Sam her "dependent" husband so she starts a manual of what he Thank you to LibraryThing and Alcove Press for this ARC. It's been a while since I've read her books and I was not disappointed. This is her best one yet in my opinion. In the beginning it bugged me that Annie refused to tell Sam about her health problems but then I forgot about it and started enjoying it. You would think it would be a maudlin book since Annie's dying at age 37 of supposedly of lung cancer. She doesn't know how to tell Sam her "dependent" husband so she starts a manual of what he should do and what he shouldn't do when she's gone. Each chapter begins with a post-it note of some of these things. In comes Ursula, her "mother," who hasn't been in her life but in her own little world of acting like the diva actress she really is. She changes Annie's life literally and goes to NY to spend time with her and to see specialists that her little town of Maine doesn't have that she's been relying on. Sam is home in Maine running the sandwich shop they own. She comes home finally from NY after 2 weeks, and Sam refuses to talk to her. She has tried to tell him that she wasn't having an affair in NY but he refuses to talk to her. It all ends up fine even after a car accident that both think they've caused.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    I loved the premise of this book: Annie, who is in her late 30s, gets a terrible medical diagnosis and begins to write a manual for her husband, Sam, on how to live life without her (hence the title, “Minus Me”). Throughout the book, we learn more about her seemingly unshakeable 17-yeaer marriage to Sam and her fractious relationship with her famous but absent mother, a well-known actress. I really enjoyed the first three-quarters of the book. After that, things started coming apart for me. This I loved the premise of this book: Annie, who is in her late 30s, gets a terrible medical diagnosis and begins to write a manual for her husband, Sam, on how to live life without her (hence the title, “Minus Me”). Throughout the book, we learn more about her seemingly unshakeable 17-yeaer marriage to Sam and her fractious relationship with her famous but absent mother, a well-known actress. I really enjoyed the first three-quarters of the book. After that, things started coming apart for me. This was mostly because of my least-favorite plot device (lack of communication). At first, it’s understandable that Annie wants to keep her bad news from Sam. However, it’s a huge red flag when you start meeting with cancer specialists and fertility doctors without telling your husband. Without giving any spoilers, the entire storyline was a little too neatly tied up with a bow. Let’s just no tears were shed. The writing was good. I really enjoyed seeing Annie and Ursula mend their fractured relationship. I wanted to like book as well. It just wasn’t for me, but others may enjoy it. Thank you #NetGalley for the #ARC of #MinusMe in exchange for my honest opinion. Follow me on Instagram at @jills_bookish_life for more book talk.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lacey

    Thank you to Netgalley and Alcove Press for this ARC This story follows Annie who is married to her childhood sweetheart, Sam. Together they own a sandwich shop called “Annie’s Samwich” (how cute is that) Annie has just received a grim diagnosis - she must find a way for Sam to go on without her. She decides to leave a step-by-step plan for him, but her plans don’t go exactly as she wants when her flashy, and flaunting mother Ursula comes to town. This is a story of marriage, motherhood, love and Thank you to Netgalley and Alcove Press for this ARC This story follows Annie who is married to her childhood sweetheart, Sam. Together they own a sandwich shop called “Annie’s Samwich” (how cute is that) Annie has just received a grim diagnosis - she must find a way for Sam to go on without her. She decides to leave a step-by-step plan for him, but her plans don’t go exactly as she wants when her flashy, and flaunting mother Ursula comes to town. This is a story of marriage, motherhood, love and loss. Told in a hilarious and poignant way. Even in the worst of situations - is when we can find the best of ourselves. This book was an interesting one for me. It started off strong, but in the end didn’t quite hit the mark. This book has a lot of heavy content in it, but I found it lacking the depth I needed to connect to the issues at hand. I wanted it to be light hearted and to give me the comfort and connection with the characters. But I found it almost hit you with heavy words, lack of feeling, and then tied it up in a neat little box at the end and said here you go. I will say that I did enjoy reading about Annie and her mother’s relationship and the journey they went on in the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarai

    Annie owns a popular sandwich shop in Maine with her sweet yet needy husband Sam. They are an inseparable couple who hide no secrets form each other. One day Annie finds out that she may die from lung cancer and decides to put together a manual for her clueless husband to receive after her passing. The premise of this book sounded really amazing. It was the main reason why I decided to read this book. By the time I finished reading this book however; I could say with confidence that it’s definit Annie owns a popular sandwich shop in Maine with her sweet yet needy husband Sam. They are an inseparable couple who hide no secrets form each other. One day Annie finds out that she may die from lung cancer and decides to put together a manual for her clueless husband to receive after her passing. The premise of this book sounded really amazing. It was the main reason why I decided to read this book. By the time I finished reading this book however; I could say with confidence that it’s definitely not my cup of tea. The story took too long to get to the most important part. I also felt like most of the story was missing that added punch that would make similar stories like this one fly off the page. It's also notable that certain characters and scenes had no real purpose to the overall story. The only upside to the story was Annie’s mother Ursula who honestly was the only character I really enjoyed. I really wish it would have been better written story so that each scene really had a significance and focused more on developing Annie as a character and not a standby to her own life. Thank you NetGalley and Alcove Press for this advance read!

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