Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?
"Pressed Pennies" is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.
Rick and Abby are both recently divorced. Rick's ex-wife, Rose, was cold and power-driven and he finally has had enough. Abby's ex-husband, Patrick, is an alcoholic and verbally abusive. She leaves with their nine-year-old daughter, Paige, to start a new life together.
Rick and Abby were school sweethearts and eventually lost touch when Rick's family moved away. They meet up again about 20 years later and the spark is still there ... the obstacle, though, is Paige who makes it clear that she doesn't want them together. Abby is torn between wanting to be with Rick and not wanting to hurt Paige.
This is the fourth book I've read by this author and I liked it. I liked the writing style and thought it was well-paced. It is written in third person perspective with a focus on Rick, Abby and Paige. The significance of the title is that as kids, Abby, Richard (as he was known as then) and their friends put pennies on a railroad track so trains could flatten them. As a head's up, there isn't any swearing but there are hints of adult activity.
I liked Abby and Rick and thought they were good for each other after the crappy marriages they'd had. I found that once they realized they were in love, they were REALLY in love and talked about it a lot. I'm not sure how realistic those conversations were ... romance lovers will surely love it, though.
I found Paige annoying at times. I don't have kids so don't know if nine-year-old girls are really that disrespectful, bratty and mean ... and Abby let her get away it most of the time to avoid conflict with her. I know that Paige was going through a lot (her parents divorce, having a deadbeat dad and her mom start dating) but it's what most kids deal with in today's world. Even Paige's friends were appalled at her behaviour. Instead of glaring at her or giving her a talking to, Abby needed to discipline Paige more authoritatively. If I'd acted like that when I was a kid, I'd get a smack on the butt ... once was enough to scare me not to do it again. Plus it was a given that we respected adults when we were in their presence.
I found it amazing that Abby never called the police to report Patrick, Abby's ex-husband, when he was driving around drunk. He'd arrive at the house slurring and weaving and she'd send him off. What if he hit and killed someone? Maybe having the police nab him would serve as a lesson to him. Maybe we are less tolerant of drunk drivers here in Canada than in the U.S.
I thought it was funny that at one point Rick had to go to "Canada" on business. Canada is a big place and I'm sure the author could have narrowed it down a bit and the readers would know where he was talking about ... like have Rick go to Toronto, Montreal or Calgary on business rather than just "Canada".