The Opposite of Maybe
Broadway, 2014 (2014)
Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle
hen we meet Rosie and Jonathan at the beginning of
The Opposite of Maybe
, they are in bed, making love but not quite finished. When Jonathan's phone rings, he immediately becomes more interested in finding out who's calling him than in paying any more attention to Rosie. This is a strong clue that everything is not as it should be in their lengthy relationship. Although they're living together, they never bothered to get married, while the three couples who are their best friends married and had children who are now almost grown. Greta has been Rosie's friend since they were little girls, so they're more like sisters than friends.
osie has no family except for an irascible grandmother called Soapie who became famous after writing a book called
The Dustcloth Diva Tackles Dirt and Dust and Still Has Time for a Life
. Rosie was orphaned at three years old when her mother Serena died in a freak accident and her father disappeared. He had moved to Canada to escape the draft, leaving Serena and Rosie behind. Soapie raised her, but never seemed happy to have to take on a small child after losing her only daughter. Even at the age of eighty-eight, Soapie is still glamorous and attractive, but she has started to have serious health problems and shouldn't live alone any more.
he phone call changes the lives of Rosie and Jonathan. He has become obsessed with antique teacups, and the man calling him wants to start a museum in San Diego where they will display the teacups that Jonathan has already collected, as well as more cups that they will be able to accumulate. Up until this man entered the picture, Rosie thought of the teacups as just another of Jonathan's interests. He has had a history of becoming extremely interested in one thing after another, without any of those interests going anywhere. She can't believe he plans to uproot their lives, leave North Haven, Connecticut, and move to San Diego for this new interest. Rosie likes her job teaching English and worries about leaving Soapie behind now that she's ill and needs care. She agrees to go with Jonathan, but at the last minute, changes her mind and moves back in with Soapie.
osie discovers that Soapie has allowed a young man named Tony to move in with her to help her with cooking, and pick her up when she falls, so she won't allow Rosie to hire a licensed caregiver. Rosie is suspicious of this man, but after moving in herself, realizes that he takes good care of Soapie. Rosie begins to be strangely attracted to him, although he's much younger. Then she discovers that she's pregnant.
enjoyed this novel and had trouble putting it down while wondering how Rosie was going to solve all of her problems. One thing after another would occur to upset her, and Rosie would always be slightly behind the reader in realizing what she should do. Having been raised by a grandmother with a strong personality, she easily fell in love with a man who manipulated her and got his own way most of the time, without her realizing that she might want something different. Now that her grandmother is failing and Jonathan is gone, Rosie begins to learn her own strengths, and it's fun to watch her grow and change.
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