Molly Dolan, an insecure twenty-something woman, spends most days ricocheting between hope and despair.
SHORTLISTED: 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition
“This book is not to be missed. But before you start, it might be a good idea to put on your Jim Croce album—the chapter titles are his songs. This book is simply… well… fabulous!” ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Jon Michael Miller
Molly keeps rushing into relationships with the wrong men, brought about by a violent incident during her teen years, which skewed her judgment. Now she’s drinking too much, taking foolish risks, and allowing a predatory male to sexually harass her at work.
A chance encounter with Fred Flaherty, her 72-year-old divorced neighbor, leads to a tentative friendship. Fred, a Cold War veteran and ham radio operator, has suffered considerably over the decades, but also dreams of a better future. As summer becomes autumn, the two neighbors share stories of personal loss, bond over their passion for Jim Croce’s music, and develop trust and mutual respect.
This is fortunate, because winter is about to bring on challenges neither could have predicted.
“…Women’s fiction at its best… highly recommended for readers who like their characters realistic, warm, and thoroughly engrossing.” ~ Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer
Watch for the audiobook to release in late 2020 or early 2021.
Print Book Info
Perfect Bound / Softcover:
6.14 x 9.21 x 0.5841 (0.887 Lbs)
258 Pages (28/carton)
List Price: $15.95
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“It’s rare to find a story that explores an intergenerational friendship and relationship. Mary Rowen does a fine job of exploring hard times and their impact on two very different individuals, probing how proximity and shared experiences connect them in unexpected ways.
“Readers will also appreciate the realistic attention to detail that moves Molly from an obsession with her latest possibility, Andy, to a newfound appreciation for a man she took for granted.
“It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way is women’s fiction at its best. It’s a warm story of mercurial relationships, friendships, life hardships, and unusual connections that defy perspectives, hopes, and dreams at all stages of life.
“Whether it’s chosen for a beach read or a warm story educating women about relationships, It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way is a satisfyingly compelling read highly recommended for readers who like their characters realistic, warm, and thoroughly engrossing.”
“...a hopeful and touching story about how people make mistakes and get caught up in bad situations, even when they’re trying to do the right thing. ... Readers will like how Rowen’s flawed characters navigate modern and realistic situations. She introduces serious themes of family problems, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault, harassment and mental health, and buffers them with everyday examples of kindness and humor. I recommend this women’s fiction story about difficult relationships and hopeful friendships and look forward to more books by Rowen.”
“It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way, from Mary Rowen, is a delicately woven story of love, loss, and friendship, clouded by murky circumstances that push at the boundaries of society, violence against women, and mental illness. Gentle, yet bold, Rowen deftly structures a novel worth reading again and again.”