women’s fiction

The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson

Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: April 8
Genre: Women’s Fiction
*Acquired through Netgalley

   Jonathan and Rosie have been together so long they finish each other’s sentences—so when he (finally) proposes and asks her to move across the country with him, everyone is happily surprised.
   But when things suddenly unravel, Rosie sends Jonathan packing and moves back home with Soapie, the irascible, opinionated grandmother who raised her. Now she has to figure out how to fire Soapie’s very unsuitable caregiver, a gardener named Tony who lets her drink martinis, smoke, and cheat at Scrabble.
   It’s meant to be a temporary break, of course—until Rosie realizes she’s accidentally pregnant at 44, completely unequipped for motherhood, and worse, may be falling in love with Tony, whose life is even more muddled than hers. When Soapie reveals a long-hidden secret, Rosie wonders if she has to let go of her fears, and trust that the big-hearted, messy life that awaits her just may be the one she was meant to live.

“Dawson’s charmingly eccentric cast of characters is at turns lovable and infuriating, ensuring a quick read helmed by a memorable, complex heroine.” Publishers Weekly

“Delightfully witty… A messy, funny, surprising story of second chances.” Kirkus Reviews

Cover: I like the dashes of color that the dots give to an otherwise neutral cover. I also appreciate that the model on the cover has her back to us. Her face doesn’t give us any preconceived notions about the main character but her body expression conveys the uncertainty of the title and, as we come to discover, the indecisiveness of Rosie.

Favorite Lines: “Funny, how something like a wedding can fall apart in a hundred ways. After it happens, she rather thinks of it as like a Slinky on the stairs, picking up momentum and speed, bumping its way to the bottom, slowly and inevitably at first, and then…well, it’s over.”

My Review:  Comfort breeds complacency as we learn from this charming novel from Maddie Dawson. Sometimes it takes a little chaos to uncover what is important to us.

Rosie’s comfortable fifteen year relationship with antique tea-cup-enthusiast boyfriend, Jonathan, is threatened when he is offered a chance to open a teacup museum across the country. The timing for Rosie is less than ideal with a cantankerous grandmother who can’t be trusted to live on her own.

Looking towards a big move, at first everything seems to be falling together for Rosie. Jonathan proposes they get married and she begins to dream of her ideal wedding. But when Jonathan opts to chase a tea cup on their wedding day, Rosie is faced with the prospect that her companion of 15 years has his priorities in the wrong place. I learned a lot about Rosie from her relationship with Jonathan and I was equally frustrated with both throughout the novel. Rosie sacrificed a lot to keep them together and Jonathan has a textbook case of Peter Pan syndrome. While he does show signs of growing as the novel progresses, I couldn’t shake my initial characterization of Jon as insensitive and immature.

As Jonathan sets off for California without Rosie, she moves in with Soapie and her live-in caretaker Tony – a young divorced father who shares joint custody of a son. To say that Tony is endearing is an understatement. From the moment we meet Tony, we have a feeling that he will change the way Rosie sees her life.  The bond between Rosie and Tony grows and we begin to learn more about Tony and his unique situation with his son. Rosie tries to salvage her ties with Jonathan when she discovers she is pregnant with his child. Does she go back to Jonathan and his tea cups? Does she risk everything for an unknown but exciting future?

Overall: A lighthearted and heartwarming story about second chances at love and life when all seems lost. Maddie Dawson has created character that are full of passion for living and plenty of humor to tackle the problems that they must face.

Rating: 3.5 stars

About the Author

Maddie Dawson is the author of two fiction novels. She lives in Connecticut.

You can learn more about Maddie by visiting: