Cover Image: Once Upon a Sunset

Once Upon a Sunset

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Member Reviews

This was a five star read. I absolutely adored this book. I love that it was about a family journey, the romance was light and I loved that this book was set in the Philippines. This was such a treat and this author is an autobuy for me.

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Diana is a OB-GYN in the DC area who recently went through some life changes. Her grandmother passed away, her mother came to live with her and she broke up with her boyfriend after finding out he cheated. She is an excellent OB-GYN and one night on shift she makes a decision that may have saved the life of a patient but it causes a lot of trouble for her employer. Diana is put on temporary leave and while on leave she discovers something about her families past. Something that changes everything she and her mother knew about her father and sends them both halfway across the world to search for answers.

I have read Tif Marcelo's previous book, The Key to Happily Ever After, and fell in love with her writing style. The stars of her books wrestle with the direction of their lives and do it in a way that is easy to sympathize with. .Diana at the beginning of the book is completely focused on work. She takes extra shifts and does everything she can to escape her non-work life. When she is forced to take a break, another problem presents itself.

I loved the format of the book. It is told from primarily Diana's view but between each chapter are letters between her grandparents during the war that separated them. These letters add so much to the story as her grandparents story is central them throughout the book. I also loved that the author sprinkled a few references to places from her prior book in this one.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light-hearted, captivating read. After three chapters, I was hooked and had a hard time putting the book down.

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I had a hard time putting down this book. The characters and story line pulled me in from the beginning. Diana, an OB/GYN, having to make decisions which went against financial interests, finds out that she still has family in the Philippines. Diana thought she had no family but her eccentric mother, Margo, who believed her father died in WWII. The addition of some Filipino-American history, with family relationships and questions of identity enhance the story. Highly recommend and thank Netgalley for the ARC.

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Diana Gallagher-Cary is in need of change she's not ready to admit to - she's an OB/GYN, but she's not very happy at her prestigious hospital in Washington DC. Her grandmother who helped raise her has recently passed away, her mom has moved in and her ex has moved out. Change is a must and then something happens at work that makes her need to take a few weeks off and she and her mom happen to find out that maybe her grandfather whom they believed died fighting in the Pacific during WWII in fact lived a long life with another family in the Philippines, Diana has to do something.

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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This novel centers around a family and the choices individual members have to make to sustain themselves and their children. I love the understanding between the mothers and daughters.

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World War II as experienced by Filipino-American soldiers is for me an unusual subject matter. This story explores what happened to one of those soldiers as he left his father and his beloved Leora to fight in the Pacific area.

It is also the story of the women left behind. First, there was Leora, then her daughter and finally her granddaughter Diana. When Diana discovers letters written by her grandfather while he was overseas she decides it is time to find out about her heritage. While her mother is totally against this, she finally accompanies Diana to the Philippines, and once there both their lives are changed forever.

This is a beautiful story, mainly because it feels both factually and emotionally true. It includes insights into Filipino-Americans' struggles to be accepted in the United States, and into their fight for their rights as farmers. In the Author's Note, along with stating that the story grew out her personal experience, she gives some fine sources for Filipino-American history.

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After Diana has a tumultuous year with a bad breakup, home repairs and her mom moving in after carrying for her mother, Leora, and subsequent death and issue comes up at the hospital where she is an OB-GYN and she is forced to take a vacation. While her mom, Margo, is cleaning out Leora's home she finds letters from her father. Diana decides that now is a good time to go to the Philippines and find out what happened to her grandfather.

I thought it was a sweet story and I loved Margo. Diana seemed a little prickly to me and I never felt like I knew her. The imagery of the Philippines was wonderful and I liked all of the relatives and people she met there. Things wrapped up nicely in the end and that was okay too.

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A very quick hard to put down book. I had read her previous book and liked it so I was excited to be offered the opportunity to read this one. I thought the story and characters were interesting. Definitely recommend! Thanks to the author and Netgalley for the early copy

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I was first introduced to Tif Marcelo’s writing earlier this year by her wonderful story of the de la Rosa sisters in The Key to Happily Ever After! So, when I received an ARC copy of her newest book (Release date: March 3, 2020) I couldn’t wait to begin reading!

Once Upon a Sunset is told from the perspectives of Margo and Diana. This dynamic mother daughter duo carries a complex yet dear authenticity. They reveal their strengths in nearly opposite ways, which causes a slight chasm in their relationship. Margo (mother) is a free spirit with a positive attitude who sometimes buries her emotions in hopes they won’t resurface. Diana is an active professional and an independent go-getter who often battles over following her heart or her head.

I like each of these women and can put myself in both of their shoes, but strangely enough, I connect with Diana on a deeper level (even though I’m more like Margo.) I love the changes Diana experiences throughout the story and how she gains a better understanding of her mother and herself. And of course, I love the unexpected romances each of these women fall into.

Tif Marcelo is a brilliant storyteller. Her Filipino background is evident in her writing, giving this story richness and depth. The Filipino culture is brought more to the forefront in this story than in her previous book, which makes me incredibly happy.

I love this story and the feeling of fullness as I close the book.

*This story is lightly spicy and contains some cursing.
First Line: Once upon a time, there was a doctor who loved to run.
Source: I received a complimentary copy as a member of the Tall Poppy Bloggers Team.

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Thank you Tif Marcelo and to Gallery , Pocket Books for allowing me to read the ARC.

This is my first time reading anything by Tif Marcelo and I enjoyed reading her words on the pages. I was first intrigued by this book because I found myself to relate to Diana and I myself have Filipino heritage. I have yet to have the chance to visit Manila and reading this book only lit a fire in me to make it happen sooner rather than later.

This book a love story but not in a sense of love between a man and a woman... no this is a love story of finding the love within yourself first. This is a story of a finding your place in the world , within yourself, and being happy with who you are. Don't get me wrong this is romance between the opposite sex, but that's not what I took away from this book. I took away here you have a 67 year old woman who is part white and Filipino who grew up raised by a single woman in a time when mix races where not accepted and has a daughter of her own whom she raised as a single mother herself. When she finally begins to go threw her own mothers belongs discovers that her mother had lied to her and that her Filipino father had not really died in the war but lived and had a family in the Philippines. This throws her daughter Diana to find out the truth of both their pasts and where they come from. This is a story of self discovery, forgiveness, love and a bond between mother and daughter.

You will not be disappointed in reading this book , I would encourage you to choose this for your next book club because there are so many discussion that can be had after reading this book.

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Diana Cary-Gallagher is the third (at least) only daughter of an only daughter. After her beloved granny, Leora, passes, Diana and her mother, Margaret (Ms. Margo to her social media following) are alone. Actually alone together, as Margo has moved in with Diana, who works as an OB at a DC hospital. 75-year-old Margo mostly influences. One day a good/bad decision leads to Diana having time on her hands, and a family mystery to solve. She chases the mystery to the Philippines, where her grandfather disappeared during WWII.

It's a feel good read with a conflict that is solved easily enough not to be heartrending. And, SPOILER, no one dies, which is nice.

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Tif Marcelo’s novels examine families in all of their glorious complications. ONCE UPON A SUNSET is no exception, but in this book Marcelo explores how parents impact us, through their presence and absence. This multigenerational story, told through prose and letters, offers a tender and ultimately hopeful perspective on the bonds of found families and the power of second chances.

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This is a lovely and poignant novel about discovering one's family background, a mother/daughter relationship, a career change and a real chance at love. I could not put this novel down and look forward to more from this author. The characters were so believable and the plot very well paced.

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Tif Marcelo does it again with her captivating Once Upon a Sunset. There is a charming cast of characters - led by mother and daughter pair, Margo and Diana. Diana finds herself on the wrong side of a news story at work and has some leave time available. There’s also the matter of her mother’s paternity, which is more complicated than they were led to believe. This synergy of events leads Diana to the Philippines, where she will learn both about her family, her heritage, and herself. It’s a story of love - familial and romantic.

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I really enjoyed The Key to Happily Ever After so I was excited to dive into Tif Marcelo’s newest novel Once Upon a Sunset! After reading the description for Once Upon a Sunset, my gut was saying this was a novel that would be right up my alley—I couldn’t have been more correct!!!

Once Upon a Sunset centers around Diana, who finds herself at a major crossroads in her life. With some unexpected time on her hands, Diana starts to go through her beloved (late) grandmother’s things. Diana completely immerses herself and finds out surprising information about her grandfather—the grandfather she was always told died in WWII. Diana ultimately decides travels to the Philippines to get to the heart of the long lost family history. And in finding her grandparents truth, she just may find her own!

From start to finish this novel had me 100% on the hook. The storyline was perfectly paced and so well thought out! The characters are well developed- so much so, you feel as if you know them! Tif Marcelo really out did herself with this 4.5 star gem! I can’t recommend this fantastic novel enough and I think it would make a wonderful book club selection! I am already looking forward to reading more from Tif in the future!

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