Me for You
by Lolly Winston
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Length: 320 Pages
Release date: March 12, 019
Publisher: Gallery Books
From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Grief comes a richly poignant and stirring story that asks: How soon is too soon to fall in love again?
The last thing Rudy expected was to wake up one Saturday morning, a widow at fifty-four years old. Now, ten months after the untimely death of his beloved wife, he’s still not sure how to move on from the defining tragedy of his life—but his new job is helping. After being downsized from his finance position, Rudy turned to his first love: the piano. Some people might be embarrassed to work as the piano player at Nordstrom, but for Rudy, there’s joy in bringing a little music into the world. And it doesn’t hurt that Sasha, the Hungarian men’s watch clerk who is finally divorcing her no-good husband, finds time to join him at the bench every now and then.
Just when Rudy and Sasha’s relationship begins to deepen, the police come to the store with an update about Rudy’s wife’s untimely death—a coworker has confessed to her murder—but Rudy’s actions are suspicious enough to warrant a second look at him, too. With Sasha’s husband suddenly reappearing, and Rudy’s daughter confronting her own marital problems, suddenly life becomes more complicated than Rudy and Sasha could have imagined.
With Winston’s trademark humor and sweetness that will appeal to readers of Jennifer Weiner and Fredrik Backman but is uniquely her own, Lolly Winston delivers a heartfelt and realistic portrait of loss and grief, hope and forgiveness, and two imperfect people coming together to create a perfect love story.
I received a free copy of this novel from Booksparks in my role as a Winter Reading Challenge ambassador. All opinions are my own.
Me for You was in the 2.5 star range for me. There was a lot of potential in the story and I loved the concept, but something about the execution just never really grabbed me. The book opens with Rudy waking up in bed with his wife, who has died in her sleep. Most of the story then takes place almost a year later, after the initial shock of the loss has faded as Rudy navigates a blooming romance with Sasha, an acquaintance from work.
In what I can only assume is an attempt to add some excitement to the story, Winston introduces a new plot line: the murder confession alluded to in the blurb. This serves to further traumatize Rudy as the one year anniversary of his wife’s death approaches. Rudy finds himself in the hospital as his grief and depression leave him unable to function. Given the difficult nature of the first anniversary of a death, this twist didn’t feel necessary to contribute to Rudy’s mental state and move the story along. In retrospect, it felt out of place and forced, especially given later revelations in the story.
The romance angle between Sasha and Rudy was endearing and it was one of the redeeming qualities of this book for me. Sasha, an immigrant who has lost her child and been abandoned by her husband, could easily fill a simple “damsel in distress role,” but instead she becomes Rudy’s rock as he sinks into an overpowering depression.
Me for You may be a good choice for fans of authors such as Phaedra Patrick. It touches on some heavy topics, but overall feels like a light and fluffy read.
Thank you for reading! What’s your favorite novel with an older protagonist? Let me know in the comments!