Wow, reading One Simple Refrain was like watching Brothers & Sisters. With Leona obviously being the character played by Sally Field. Sorry, this is slightly off topic. But it is true though, this book reads like a movie or TV show. Most of the book consists of dialogue. And since I am a big fan of dialogue in a book…
In One Simple Refrain Dr. Jillian (Jill) Byers returns to her hometown to take care for her ailing father. She returns with reluctance to the small town she couldn’t wait to leave when she was old enough. But with her mother deceased and her brother estranged, she takes on this task to care for her beloved father. She arrives in time for a school reunion. There she meets Marjorie (MJ) Willard again after more than 30 years. MJ is back in town after her divorce.
A tight friendship ensues when the two women find they enjoy each others company very much. MJ’s mother Leona is a friend of Joe, Jill’s father. She is a big help to Jill, together with Chloe, MJ’s daughter. The biggest help however is MJ. She becomes more and more important to Jill. She can’t help but fall in love with her. But MJ is straight, although she gives of mixed signals.
This whole romance is a vat full of good advice. Sometimes it tended to feel like platitudes, but it held more than that. Hence the Brothers and Sisters remark 😉. All the characters are just extremely wise (even Chloe, MJ’s 7 year old), except for Jill who seems the only one stumbling around. But she learns and she grows. Even more so when she learns some truths of the past involving MJ’s and Jill’s parents. It was also kind of personal to me too, with Jill being her father’s caretaker and the family issues. This book by Nancy Ann Healy was mushy and soft, but the goosebumps and emotions were there and I loved it ❤️ .