Cover Image: The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

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Member Reviews

Man, am I kicking myself for not reading this sooner. But also, I'm so glad I didn't, because this was exactly what I needed at this point in my life.

I received a free ARC of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler way back in the beginning of my Netgalley days, and needless to say, this is only the first of a long string of ARCs I let go stale before finding my ARC-reviewing groove.

I am really, really happy I got round to this one though. I enjoyed the crap out of it and devoured it in basically a day (with only a rather short night's sleep in between). I do think that if I read it back when I received it, I might not have been as completely taken with it. To me, this feels like a perfect-moment book - one that shines brightest if it hits you at exactly the right point in time and space. The characters' wit and charm might come across as trying too hard if experienced at the wrong time, but who cares. I loved it.

I don't even have anything negative to say about it at this point, and that's fine by me. Yay for fun books!
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Absolutely loved this book!! I love the mom vacation idea and how much Amy needed to find herself and how helpful her friendships were in the process. Her kids were also great!!!
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Thank you NetGalley for the advanced reader copy,  This was a fluffy fun read!  An overworked single mom gets a chance to be without her two children for an entire summer!  She heads off to NYC.  Fun ensues!  She can find herself.  She can go on dates!  She can have coffee that is actually hot.  But you can already figure out that she will miss her family, right?  You'll have to read it to see what happens!
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I immediately called my mom after reading this and cried. She raised my sister and I mostly on her own, and even after 30-some years I never thought of what it meant for her when we left (overnight camp, college, moving to a different state). She lost a piece of who she had been for years, but also gained something of herself back. 

Amy opened my eyes to mothers everywhere. The hurt children can unintentionally inflict by not calling to check in. The sacrifice all single parents make without their kids knowing. But it also made me happy to know my mom, and so many other moms/dads are resilient and bounced back. Yes, my sister and I left her (in a sense) to grow, and she accepted that by making herself #1 again. 

I also loved the visual of a hoard of librarians descending upon NYC.
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I thought this book was great! In The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, Amy's estranged husband shows up after having been missing for a few years, leaving Amy with a mortgage to pay and children to care for, and offers to care fo the children for the summer. Hesitant at first, Amy then decides to take advantage of the opportunity and heads off to NYC for a change of scenery. While there, she seems to discover cultures of the city, the night life, and even herself. She takes risks, goes on dates and ultimately, realizes that her life is about more than just the mundane one she's created for herself in rural Pennsylvania. I would recommend this to others -- it is a light and enjoyable read and fun to watch Amy find herself in her newfound summer of freedom!
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I was drawn to this book by the description, and I was not disappointed.  It's funny in places and the story is not the same old rom-com plot.  It was a great book to escape to when I had the time.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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What a fun read. Such a relatable character and just a delightful jaunt through her overdue life. I especially loved her relationship with her children. This story provided the perfect escape from reality. I'll definitely read more works by Kelly Harms. Thanks for letting me read this one.
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I loved this book! I was in a slump until I picked it up. Amy is a relatable character who needed to be reminded how fun life could be, even as a single mom. It definitely resonated with me and made me wish I could have a girls weekend with her!
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At first glance this book seems like a romcom, but it is so much deeper than that. Throughout this book, I really found myself carrying about Amy and wanting her to get the life she deserved. There were parts that made me laugh out loud and parts that made me want to cry.
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This one reads like a rom/com for the suburban mom! Highly entertaining, it's a perfect beach read. Book lovers and librarians will enjoy this light, humorous story with a good message for moms who feel they need to 'do it all' for family/work/friends at the expense of their own life. Thanks to netgalley for my free copy!
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms.

Amy is a single mom and librarian who works hard and loves her kids.  So when her ex-husband pops back into their life after a three year absence in hopes of taking the kids for the summer, she is absolutely lost for words, or what to do!  Her life has always been quiet, filing books, taxiing kids, shopping at LL Bean.  But a suggestion to spend a week in Manhattan turns her quiet life all on it's head.  Will Amy find what she's looking for?  Will she find WHO she's looking for?

Listen, if you pick this up knowing EXACTLY what it is, totally indulgent romantic comedy, then you'll enjoy it just fine.  It has all the elements, the perfect women's lit formula.  Add to that, fish food for the bibliophile, and touche Kelly Harms.

Admittedly this is not my genre.  And initially when I started it, I groaned inwardly, wondering if I could stomach a martyr-ey protagonist and her inability to accept help, or fun, or love.  But I quickly warmed up to it and fell comfortably in the story.  And, c'mon, I will always be a sucker for literary references.
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My thoughts

Narrative and Plot

Amy Byler is a single mother to her teenage kids for the last three years. The story is told from her perspective along with a journal entry from her daughter Cory. Overall, the book is witty and upbeat yet filled with deep seated issues.

The plot started off strong but somewhere in the middle it, the plot felt lost. There was a bit of lagging and misdirection at times. But it pulls itself together towards the end. The book questions streotypes especially, about mothers and what they should or should not do or even wish for.

Characters and Conflicts

There were a lot of interesting and fun characters. With Amy herself so full of life, despite being a tired single mom, the story was engaging and easy going. The spark of romance makes you wish for more but as any chic lit goes, they keep missing the point and yet it is romantic in that starry eyed way.

Unfortunately, some of the characters were not utilised properly and remained on the sidelines till the very end. It would have been interesting to know more about them than knowing every single detail of Amy's New York outing. Not that, it wasn't unnecessary. As the story progressed Amy started to open up and finally decided to live her life.


The idea that a bit of make over would cheer you up or increase your confidence isn't exactly universally agreeable. However, the book acknowledges this and points out that #momspringa could mean any kind of break to anyone. But it is only a tiny portion. The majority of the time is spent on "improving" Amy or rather just her looks. If you could overlook the glamour part just a bit, the book has a powerful message. This is definitely a one time read for me.
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Sweet romance starring a school librarian and newly single mother coming into her own. A fun, feel-good read.
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This book fits the bill if you’re looking for a light summer read. It’s women’s fiction sharing the front porch swing with chick-lit… without all that annoying pattering talk that chick-lit usually comes with. It’s intelligent chick-lit. (Is this a category? It should be.)

Kelly Harms has written a character with depth. Amy Byler is an intelligent woman; a school librarian (yay!) who is besieged with doubts over being away from her kids for an entire summer. She’s given the unexpected gift of a “momspringa” – a summer of discovering another side of herself. What does she do with it? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out – I’m not gonna spoil it for you.

Sure the book has the expected tropes – fairy-tale romance, complete wardrobe makeover, insights into what’s really important in life. Of course it does! It’s supposed to! But it’s also got great conversations about things like library science and getting kids to read. And wine! That’s what makes it a great summer read.

I didn’t want War & Peace, folks… I wanted a well-written, intelligent woman rediscovering herself, and that’s what I got.
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The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is a feel good novel about a single mother who was struggling to keep her family above the surface and forgot about herself in the process. She forgot about her needs and desires. She forgot how to "melt". She forgot how to love. She forgot how to live. And after her long lost husband returns, she decides to take some time off and go to New York. And there she accidentally bumps into someone she was searching for a long time. Herself.

This book is a great light read, the relationships between the characters are heartwarming and the main message important for every new-age mother: "Don't lose yourself". Or if you do, go to momspringa.
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This is a story of a not-so-single mother Amy Byler. She is a librarian in a private school in a small country. She had two children, an older daughter Cory and a younger son Joe. She is struggling to keep on her feet when her not-so ex husband leaves her with two children. She thinks that she hasn't moved on from her not-so ex husband.

But, her world turns upside down when she decides to go to New York to attend a librarian conference while the children are with her not-so-ex husband. She is reunited with an old friend who is an editor of a magz. She has an idea that Amy take a momcspringa to take her mind off from things back in her home. In momspringa, she finally realises so many things and find things that she longs to find long time ago.
I thought I wouldn't like this book because this wasn't type of book that I usually read. It turned out I like it so much. Like so so much. This book is funny, witty, and full of twists. I learned so many things from this book. Thank you for writing this book, Kelly! :)
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I went in not expecting to like it that much as the character is older than those who i normally read romance books about. I really enjoyed this and how it focused what she was going through when here partner left her, him reappearing and what effect this has on her life. I found Amy a relatable and realistic character and felt that she was grounded even when the situations she was put in were a bit OTT. This takes a serious twist towards the end but i liked how it was dealt with and the way that nothing ever seemed outrageously silly.
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A simply delightful look at the complicated dance of modern motherhood. I’d love to hang out with a Amy and her friends, and it sure doesn’t hurt that my book-nerd self enjoyed all the book talk in the story. Great read! #momspringa

My thanks to Net Galley and Lake Union for the digital review copy of this title!
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What a charming and funny read! This is women's fiction at it's best and just the lighthearted novel I needed to break up a long stretch of somewhat darkmoon fiction.
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Is there such a thing as a coming of age story for adult single mums? If there is then this book is how it’s done. Went in skeptical but loved the story.

It’s about amy, single mum for three years after her ex husband abandons the family. When he returns one summer and asks for a week with the kids she jets off to NYC where she ends up spending the entire finding herself, or at least the part of herself hidden since marriage and kids – and feeling conflicted about having a life – with love – outside of her kids. Loved how authentic the friendships and relationships felt and truly enjoyed seeing Amy develop. Only wish I had read it sooner.

Fun, quirky, quick read.
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