I received a review copy of this book through Edelweiss. This does not affect my rating or opinions.
Summary: Daphne Maritch doesn’t quite know what to make of the heavily annotated high school yearbook she inherits from her mother, who held this relic dear. Too dear. The late June Winter Maritch was the teacher to whom the class of ’68 had dedicated its yearbook, and in turn she went on to attend every reunion, scribbling notes and observations after each one — not always charitably — and noting who overstepped boundaries of many kinds.
In a fit of decluttering (the yearbook did not, Daphne concluded, “spark joy”), she discards it when she moves to a small New York City apartment. But when it’s found in the recycling bin by a busybody neighbor/documentary filmmaker, the yearbook’s mysteries — not to mention her own family’s — take on a whole new urgency, and Daphne finds herself entangled in a series of events both poignant and absurd.
Genre(s): Adult, Romance, Contemporary
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This was lots of fun! Enough tension to be interesting, but not so much that it was stressful or super suspenseful to read. Admittedly the plot was a bit heteronormative, as many romcoms tend to be, but I wouldn’t call it problematic per se: there weren’t any queerphobic jokes that I noticed, and while not quite “enough” to qualify as real representation, there was mention of a single gay relationship.
Daphne is a relatable protagonist, and Jeremy is deliciously dreamy; Geneva is a bit of a caricature, but it works for comedic value. I loved the themes of personal history, interpersonal relationships (platonic and romantic alike), public vs private and the role of media in that distinction. Also great fun: modern references (Riverdale!), mentions of cute doggos, chocolatier homework, the NYC lifestyle.
While I wouldn’t say that this is revolutionary, I think the premise is uncommon if not unique, and overall it’s a lovely comfortable read.