Jaq is a former ambulance driver who walks around with guilt weighing heavily on her. She feels responsible for a few deaths. Her grandmother, a man named Henry, and later in the book, others. I can't reveal beyond that without giving important stuff away. This was an interesting and very sad twist.
She wants the lovely farm wife, Molly, but Molly is married with a child. Jaq's own marriage is a sham on the verge of annulment. There's no way Molly can walk away from her son Patrick, even if she were to get the gumption to actually do something against her darned mother in law's wishes. See, her MIL runs the show. At first, I could figure out why the MIL had so many parts. She was irritating and mean and evil. I kept asking, "Why is she a main figure in this story?" When I got the author's notes, I understood. Despite my dislike of her and her opinions, she was a strong woman in her own right.
To avoid going on and on, there's a war going on, past issues being battle, a young woman feeling things she doesn't think she should be feeling, a meddlesome MIL, an alcoholic wanting to go back and fight, but recovering from wounds. Lots of things going on here.
Liked: That Molly finally sees the light, sorta. I don't think she would have if fate hadn't intervened, but at least she registers to vote. Liked Jaq, her dressing as a man, her working on cars, her attitude overall. Her side story about the storm and the war and the nun.
Disliked: The POV shifts a lot, too much. I had to read over passages at times as it was she, she, she, but I couldn't figure out WHICH she it was. Lots of long monologues of people talking to themselves or animals. Lots of stories from the past TOLD instead of shown. The MIL...lots of her parts were unnecessary. Molly was just irritating in her weakness. It was constantly, "If my MIL and hubby agree....If they let me do this." As I said, even in the end, I doubt she wouldn't had the backbone had fate not intervened. Also, bit long-winded at times, the narrative.
Three bikes. Had some issues, but I would read more from Bold Strokes and this author.
Favorite line: "Strong women are simply that--strong--whether they wear a skirt or pants. They're merely being themselves, not trying to be like men. And if they happen to love other women, that's their right."
I received this thru netgalley.