Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Reading Challenge: The Sweetheart Deal by Polly Dugan

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!  This week's book is The Sweetheart Deal by Polly Dugan!

About the book:

A widow and her husband's best friend fall in love, but even if it's what the husband wanted, is it real?
Firefighter Leo McGeary has always joked that, in the event of his death, he wants Garrett, his best friend and a consummate bachelor, to marry his wife, Audrey. One drunken New Year's Eve, he goes so far as to make Garrett promise to do so. Twelve years later, Leo dies in a freak skiing accident. Within hours, Garrett quits his job and purchases a one-way ticket to Oregon to be with Leo's family. As Audrey learns to navigate life as a widow and a single parent, her feelings for Garrett become more than platonic, and he begins to fall for her, too. But when she learns of the drunken pact made long ago, the promise that brought Garrett into her world becomes the obstacle to his remaining in it.
The Sweetheart Deal is a story of a widowed mother, Audrey, and her three boys. Before her husband, Leo's, death, he made his best friend Garrett promise to look after and marry Audrey in case something every happened to him.  Leo was pretty persistent with his plea and Garrett agrees through a signed piece of paper.  Leo never told Audrey about the arrangement with Garrett and when Leo dies she is still left in the dark.  Garrett uproots his life (and helps with building a house in process) in order to fulfill his promise to Audrey to the point that his intentions towards her are very genuine and not out of duty.  Of course, Audrey is dealing with grief and at first only looks at Garrett as a friend, until she doesn't.  However, the pact that brought Garrett and Audrey together is something that becomes a driving force to tear them apart when Audrey finds out the truth of the pact.  

In this book you will read through the perspectives of Audrey, Garrett and Audrey's sons.  The grief in this book feels very real.  Audrey is struggling, for obvious reasons, and you can just imagine those instances taking place.  This book is about love and the different kinds that exist: between friends, family and spouses.  Garrett has his own issues to deal with, like, why did he actually uproot his life to help Audrey?  You realize that there is more to it than just helping out a friend and it's something that has been there all along.  Audrey has to sort through the hurt and coming to terms with her own feelings.  This was a really well written book and I think readers will enjoy the unique situation that Audrey and Garrett finds themselves in, even if it is out of a sad situation!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

Polly Dugan lives in Portland, Oregon, and is a reader at Tin House magazine. A former employee of Powell's Books, she is an alumna of the Tin House Writer's Workshop. Dugan's first published story, "A Matter of Time," was Line Zero's Spring 2012 Literary Contest Winner, "Masquerades" (as "One At a Time"), was Narrative's Story of the Week (December 2012), and "Kitten Season" was an Honorable Mention Recipient in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers (August 2009). (taken from author's web site)

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