Never Meant To Meet You combines school-teacher charm with you’ve-been-schooled kind of toughness. The main character is Marjette Lewis, a late 30s Black woman who is a divorced mom of a teenager, a no-nonsense kindergarten teacher and an unwilling Weight-Watchers participant. A week before she returns to school, she meets her next door neighbor, a Jewish woman named Noa Abrams, the day after Noa’s husband dies suddenly. A week later, Noa’s daughter joins her kindergarten class and Marjette’s work-home life starts to teeter out of balance as she must literally deal with what’s brewing with the people next door.
As the novel unfolds, we get drama from both women as parents, revelations about their former husbands and their evolving views on relationships, as well lots of fun characters who pop in and out of the many social encounters in this book, whether they are Shiva’s, Weight-Watchers’s check-in’s or activities that arise from the kindergarten classroom.
Never Meant To Meet You is a fun read for many reasons, not least of which is that my daughter recently started preschool and reading about Marjette’s fictional classroom felt like a little peek into my daughter’s day after I get ushered out of the building. Marjette refers to her only-child students as singletons (my daughter is in that group) and it’s fascinating to read how this teacher relates to the children and their parents. I also really love how Marjette is characterized as if she has a dark exterior but is really gooey inside, like one of the pastries described in this book. And oh, I guess I didn’t mention Max. Max, the baker. Max, Noa’s brother. Max. And maybe he is, and maybe he isn’t a romantic prospect? Well, that part you’ll have to discover for yourself.
But this is delightful and cozy novel. I love the tantalizing food descriptions. I love how the children appear in the narrative – very authentic representations, I felt.
Never Meant To Meet You represents friendship and relationships – the ones you may have planned, which don’t work out quite the way you intended but ultimately work out for the best; and those that you just know are going to be impactful from the first moment. Authors Frank and Youmans achieve great dialogue exchange in this book too. The conversation sounds real (yeah sounds, because there were places I read the book aloud). I also like when a book teaches me something I can use, like how to make the perfect quiche. High recommendation for this one.
- Title: Never Meant To Meet You
- Authors: Alli Frank & Asha Youmans
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 310
- Publisher: Montlake
- Publication Date: October 1, 2022
Note: I received a complimentary copy of Never Meant To Meet You from the publishers to participate in a publicity tour organized by TLC Book Tours. I was not otherwise compensated and the above reflects my honest opinion about the book.