Lolly Blanchard's life only seems to give her lemons. Ten years ago, after her mother’s tragic death, she broke up with her first love and abandoned her dream of opening a restaurant in order to keep her family’s struggling Seattle diner afloat and care for her younger sister and grieving father. Now, a decade later, she dutifully whips up the diner’s famous lemon meringue pies each morning while still pining for all she's lost.
As Lolly’s thirty-third birthday approaches, her quirky great-aunt gives her a mysterious gift—three lemon drops, each of which allows her to live a single day in a life that might have been hers. What if her mom hadn’t passed away? What if she had opened her own restaurant in England? What if she hadn’t broken up with the only man she's ever loved? Surprising and empowering, each experience helps Lolly let go of her regrets and realize the key to transforming her life lies not in redoing her past but in having the courage to embrace her present.
The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie by Rachel Linden is a smash, five-star hit for me. It is women’s fiction and a romance with a kinda magical swirl of meringue on top. The title is a tease about what the book is really about. The main character, Lolly, is stuck in a rut of her own making but all that changes when her sister reads out from Lolly’s middle school diary a list of things Lolly wants to do with her life.
It’s a wakeup call of sorts. We all have one or two things we may have wanted to do but never got around to or decisions we may have regretted. Lolly feels trapped but has a unique opportunity to go back and get a glimpse of what life may have been like had things only been different. Her eccentric Aunt Gert gives her three lemon drops to take for each item on her list.
Each journey offers unique insights and understanding for Lolly and the people she loves in her life and family. The most heartbreaking involves the one man she sent away. The one true love who she never really got over.
After all the lemon drops are gone Lolly is left just as crumbled as she was in the beginning. By this time, I was wondering where my HEA was! Fear not, Aunt Gert and her best friend Eve provide Lolly with inspiration and new insights. In truth, Lolly needed to get out of her own way, let life unfold as it should and not be the savior of everyone. In doing so, Lolly becomes her true self. I’m not going to spoil the ending here but I will say that true happiness - true bliss - comes when it, and you, are ready for it.