My book club had a great time chatting about the Reese's book club selection. A bit of groundhogs day, time loop at the base of the story, we see how the daily life is not fulfilling her needs or the needs of her family. It's a great look at what happens when our priorities are skewed and a testament to pausing and choosing the right thing.
This was a sweet and sad story. Definitely provided perspective regarding recognizing what is important in life. I enjoyed it.
Here is my review, as posted on Goodreads. I apologize it is so late, but I was unable to complete it before the pub day due to serious health concerns with my son.
I’m grateful that the publishers allowed me to read and review an advanced copy of this book.
This is my first Groundhog’s Day trope and it didn’t disappoint! While the story is heartbreaking, I loved learning a little more with each day Emma relived. This book really makes you think about how you approach both the good and the bad in your daily life. Do you choose to get discouraged and give up or do you choose to view each day as a gift and make the most of every moment?
No spoilers but…what an ending! 🤯
I cry in most of the books I read, so take that with a grain of salt, but I sobbbbbed for a big stretch as this one wrapped up. Luckily having my cat in my lap to cuddle made it a little easier…
Do you ever cry when you're reading? I find it's a sign I care deeply about the characters. Which happens pretty often - and I like to think it's a good thing!
Emma's a literary agent in London, working hard enough that she forgets it's her dateaversary (even though she hates that title) when she and her husband Dan exchange letters expressing their love and appreciation for the last year. It's a tradition she first started, but now that they've been together for many years with two children, he puts more effort into remembering than she does. He's upset she forgot and storms off to walk the dog, where he gets hit by a car. Emma is devastated, trying to comfort the children and sobbing herself to sleep. But the next morning, she relives the same day a la Groundhog Day. No matter what small changes she tries, he still dies each night. So Emma makes bigger and bigger changes in the repeated day, hoping to awake in the future instead of reliving the same day over and over and over.
I started reading this book pretty soon after seeing Kimberly Akimbo, and the Act 1 finale of the show is a great song titled “This Time” whose lyrics are similar to the title of the book, with a theme of looking on the bright side and making the most of the next time. The song has been in my head throughout my reading and occasionally switching to the audiobook - maybe to quiet the song (even though I love it!). Anyway, this book left me wanting to appreciate each day and try to see the best in even the crappy things. Thank you to William Morrow for the ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. It's available everywhere now if you're looking for a good cry!
Thank you William Morrow and NetGalley for letting me read this book.One Day meets Groundhog Day, in this heartwarming and emotionally poignant novel about a stressed woman who must relive the same day over and over, keeping her family and work life from imploding as she attempts to spare her husband from an unfortunate fate.
I didn’t really know what this book was about when I requested it. I saw a pretty London cover and decided to read it (cute American playwright here setting her current piece in London). It’s a Groundhog Day story. It started good but disappointing—I had higher hopes for it than what I was reading. About halfway through I was feeling it was a little mediocre. I was very wrong. This book takes its time to unfold, a mysterious puzzle slowly piecing itself together, and the final result is beautiful. The plot twists were genuinely shocking, the end absolutely heartbreaking and fulfilling. If you can handle a slow read, I would recommend this.
3.5 stars - cute story and not mad I read it.
This is a mix of Groundhog Day (reliving the same day over & over) plus PS I Love You (letters over the course of the relationship).
My favorite takeaway is the balance of fate and choice. Fate: there are some things destined to happen & there’s nothing you can do to change it; no reactions or emotions can undo what’s meant to be. Choice: There are decisions around fate that you can make; ways to react better or show up in different ways despite the inevitable.
I highlighted a lot of quotes in this one. It wasn’t quite a tearjerker for me but i could see it causing tears for some.
Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book as an ARC. This is a truly beautiful book, melancholy and bittersweet. The beginning of the book starts off like so many typical relationships. Emma is busy with her career and does not have the time to give attention to everyone in her life: her children, her husband, her friends, her career. So what is suffering the most is the marriage. She forgets their anniversary, and Dan (her husband). feels hurt. He leaves to walk the dog, and as you know from the book jacket, he is killed when a car hits him. Emma goes to bed, distraught and despondent realizing that she took him for granted, and will never have him back….Except the next morning she wakes up and there he is alive. The book does go through what would seem like Groundhog Day as she’s continually repeating the same Monday. But she’s not the same person on each Monday, and each Monday doesn’t go exactly the same way. You see Emma changing in her life and appreciating things that maybe she hadn’t before. She grows as a character. I don’t want to give too much more way, but this is a beautiful book- one that when you finish that you will close it and think about your own life and your own relationships and are you taking people for granted? I love this book, and I will definitely be looking to read more by Cesca Major.
Wow. I truly loved the concept of this story, and love even more how it was played out. I feel I can, as many busy mothers can, relate to Emma so well. The author has made me want to slow down and start taking more joy in the simpler things in life. Emma and Dan's relationship was so poignantly written, and while I would love more about this story, the ending was so perfectly written.
Review will be posted on 4/12/23
Emma is a literary agent in London and is busy with the demands of her career, motherhood, and all that comes with raising two children in a busy city. She is starting to let the needs of her family slip away and even forgets to celebrate the anniversary of when she met Dan, her husband. This is something they always celebrate with letters to one another, but Emma forgot as, like most mothers, she has a lot on her plate. Things take a turn for the worse when Dan unexpectedly dies and obviously, this turns Emma's world upside down. All those meetings, work emails, and volunteering she did don't seem so important now. However, she has another chance. When she wakes up the next day, Dan is alive. Does she have a chance to fix things or is this Dan's fate? Is she destined to live this excruciating day over and over again? Cesca Major's Maybe Next Time is a thoughtful and heart wrenching read about family, love, and living a mindful life.
Maybe Next Time truly resonated with me, much more than I thought it would. Emma's journey was reminiscent of Groundhog Day and it was a good reminder to live a more mindful life. So much of our days are filled with rushing here and there, attending this meeting, taking our kids to an activity, emailing back a coworker, that we forget to stop and look around and appreciate life and our loved ones. Maybe Next Time reminds us of this and while Emma's journey was hard at times to read, I was completely caught up in her story and was hoping she find a way out. The book truly makes you think. What would you do if you were Emma? Maybe Next Time is going to be made into a movie as it was picked up by Reese Witherspoon's company and I can't wait to see it! I may need a box of tissues though. If you like heartfelt novels with a touch of magical realism, pick this book up this spring!
Ground Hog Day meets the Overdue Life of Amy Byler in this charming tale in which a woman relives the same day over and over. Dan and Emma are good, kind, caring people. They love each other; they love their children; they love their families, even if some don’t seem to love them back. When Dan heads out to walk the dog one night, something happens that has Emma to re-experience the same day in an endless loop, making small changes each time until small problems start to improve.
The true purpose of this book appeared to be to encourage the reader to prioritize what’s important in their lives. To know your purpose in life. To know what makes you happy. To live in the present. To learn your limits. These chances, and the advice of a coworker, allow Emma to come to overcome getting lost in the hustle and bustle of life and to appreciate the good things in her life and relinquish the difficult of hateful things.
I loved how this book showed how difficult and demanding having a baby is on both the new mother and new father. How it can tear apart even a good marriage.
The ending of this book made me cry. It’s poignant and heart wrenching. I wasn’t sure I liked this book in the early chapters, but it grew on me. When I reached the end, I felt sad that I wouldn’t see these characters any more.
This is a lovely book. It starts slowly, and the repetition sometimes gets a bit annoying, but overall, this is a wonderful read. I recommend it.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generosity, but it had no effect on this review. All opinions in this review reflect my true and honest reactions to reading this book.
I needed a book to break me from a string of disappointing books and this one was it!
Emma has a very stressful life and she doesn’t quite realize the impact that it’s having on her until she has to relive the same day… over. And over. And over. And over again. And every single time, her husband Dan dies at 10:17pm. It doesn’t matter what she does, he dies and she wakes up and relives the same day.
This was an absolutely beautiful & heart wrenching story. I loved Emma’s growth in the book & how it felt SO real. This wasn’t her living the same day just a few times and waking up & realizing what needed to be done to fix it. This was a growth of over what was comparable to several months.
The ending was hard for me to process but it was so perfect to the story. While I felt like I knew how it ended, I hated not having the 100% certainty.
The story was captivating and never hit a dull or slow moment - right from the start I knew that this would be a book that I would absolutely love. And could see myself read again.
Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I liked this tale of harried working mom Emma who is trying to do it all, and feeling like she is failing on all fronts. Things come to a head on a Monday evening, when she realizes she has forgotten her anniversary, and the results are disastrous for her family.
She wakes up the next morning and, low and behold, it’s Monday morning again! She gets an opportunity to fix everything.
Maybe Next Time is a fun book to read between heavier choices.
Emma and Dan meet cute on a tube in London in 2006. They move in together, have two children, Poppy and Miles, and later decide to marry. Every year, on the anniversary of their first date, they exchange heartfelt letters. This sounds romantic, and it is, but as time passes, Dan and Emma drift apart. A major issue is Emma's obsession with her career (she's a busy literary agent who is glued to her phone). In addition, although something is clearly going on with Miles and Poppy, they are reluctant to reveal what is bothering them; Emma brushes off Hattie, Dan's sister and Emma's best friend and staunch ally, when Hattie repeatedly suggests meeting for lunch; and Dan becomes increasingly upset when his wife continues to prioritize her job over her family.
In "Maybe Next Time," Cesca Major delves into her central characters' backstories, shows their strengths and weaknesses, and in an engaging homage to "Groundhog Day," forces the heroine to relive a torturous Monday, December 3rd, again and again. A desperate Emma tries to figure out how to escape from this depressing and frustrating loop that is threatening her sanity.
Major makes clever use of dialogue, text messages, and other correspondence to provide a window into how Emma and Dan change during their fifteen years together. The author effectively explores the consequences of placing the demands of work and other obligations ahead of our loved ones. Even if Emma belatedly learns her lesson, can she undo the damage that has already been done? "Maybe Next Time," with its engrossing plot, bittersweet humor, and vivid descriptive writing, should generate lively book club discussions.
What I loved about this book:
1. I love a Groundhog Day theme (and this one has a twist!)
2. Love the characters and their development. They were diverse, multi generational and interesting and the author did a good job in bringing them all individual voices!
3. The message in the book bears repeating: Slow down and smell the roses!!
What I wish was different:
1. The ending was so close to perfect in my mind but left a few questions unanswered....I wanted them tied up with a bow!!
2. Really thought Emma could have figured it out quicker and thus the book could have been a little shorter!!
Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow/HarperCollins for the free eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Mondays are the worst, especially if you have to relive the day your husband dies on the anniversary of the day you first met over and over and over again.
Emma has a super hectic life; she has a wonderful husband and two children, works as a literary agent in London - where she constantly has authors, her boss, and editors messaging and calling her at all hours and has after-office duties that tend to consume most of her time, volunteers for a committee she should have quit a long time ago, and consoles and gives advice to random strangers on the internet. With her plate full and overwhelming need to not disappoint anyone, Emma has put certain aspects of her life on the back-burner, which she progressively realizes and tries to fix throughout the seemingly endless loop of the worst day of her life. While we follow Emma on this never-ending roller coaster of emotions and Mondays, we also get a glimpse of her life with Dan through letters he’s written throughout the years, one for every day of the anniversary of their meeting. Will the time loop ever end? Will Emma learn or do something that finally brings her a Tuesday?
I’ve always been intrigued by the time loop trope (one of my favorite X-Files episodes involves this trope, where someone dies repeatedly, coincidentally, on a Monday), so this book immediately piqued my interest. I’m very surprised that I haven’t seen much about this book on social media, because it is AMAZING!
The author was able to make me to feel the frantic and overwhelming life Emma had at the beginning of the novel, Dan’s immense love for Emma and their kids through his letters, and every different emotion that Emma experienced throughout the time loop. Emma’s varying choices each day to learn more, experience more, and to figure out a way to move past the repeating Monday were very interesting and, at times, super relatable. Her numerous Mondays included her getting arrested multiple times, going on shopping sprees, avoiding work altogether, having game nights with the kids, and watching every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. There was a point about midway through where it dragged, but it never felt redundant.
This novel was delightful, sad, funny, and insightful. I learned a lot of Britishisms, that it’s important to appreciate the little things, and to live your life to the fullest.
While I loved the concept of this one (I will never say no to a groundhog day trope), this book left me feeling rather frustrated. I was not pleased with the way anyone behaved. I can definitely see some readers being more understanding of the MCs choices and the journey of accepting the situation she's in or maybe relating to the way the husband was acting, it just wasn't for me!
I was enthralled by this story from the first page and felt every single emotion the main character went through. This story was beautifully written and this story will pull at your heartstrings in every way and you will love it!!!!!!!
"Maybe Next Time" is my first book by Cesca Major and I enjoyed it! 4⭐
Emma is a book agent living a high-stress, chaotic life in London trying to care for her kids, dog, house, and husband while working at an intense job. Her husband dies unexpectedly one night - and when Emma wakes up the next day, it's Monday all over again. She is stuck reliving the worst day of her life with no respite.
This book made me bawl like I haven't in a long time, and I always round up for books that make me cry. Emma was fairly unlikable to me at first and this book was definitely hard to read at times. I did warm up to her, though!
The pacing was a little odd for me in places, but it definitely picked up and I read the second half of it in one night. I both liked and didn't like the ending. It's hard to say much more without giving away large chunks of the plot, but I see what the author was trying to show or teach us and I got it.
⚠️ separation, miscarriages (off-screen), emotional abuse from a partner, recurring tragic death
Many readers of Maybe Next Time will see references to the film, Groundhog Day. Author Cesca Major plays with the Groundhog Day theme--live a day over and over again until you get it right. Many people will embrace this notion of second chances to fix what we screwed up in the past. Maybe Next Time gives the protagonist Emma the opportunity to relive a day and find a way to fix the pain she seems to be inflicting on others. I do not want to provide spoilers. Although Emma does eventually finds ways to fix her life, this is a book of great sadness. It is the journey that matters, as good novels often make clear.
Maybe Next Time is filled with do-overs that suggests it is possible to make parenting, marriage, and a career work well together. This is a novel that succeeds beyond the few Groundhog Day references. Major creates characters who are true, whose problems will be recognizable to readers. Maybe Next Time soon becomes so unique, so original, so real, that readers will soon forget what they think is the origin story of Groundhog Day. Major creates a novel that while difficult to get into, soon becomes a novel that calls to readers to keep reading. Once I got past an awkward beginning, I could not put down this book. I found that my ereader kept calling to me.
I want to thank the author and the publisher, Sourcebooks, for providing this ARC. My review is my own opinion. I am an avid reader, but also a critical reader. When a novel fails to embrace me and keep me reading, I say so. Maybe Next Time is not that kind of novel. At the end, I was sad to leave these characters behind. Thank you to NetGalley for listing this novel and for once again, introducing me to a new author.