Messy, Wonderful UsTITLE: Messy, Wonderful Us
AUTHOR: Isaac, Catherine

RELEASED: March 5, 2020
PUBLISHER: Simon and Schuster UK
FORMAT: eBook [ARC – AD]

GENRE: Contemporary, Romance

TRIGGERS: Cancer, getting roofied, forced adoption, mental abuse, domestic violence, assault, car accident


What if loving someone means keeping a secret that will break your heart?

In late 1983, a letter arrives from Italy, containing secrets so unthinkable that it is hidden away, apparently forever. More than three decades later, it is found . . . by the last person who was ever supposed to see it.

When Allie opens an envelope in her grandmother’s house, it changes everything she knows about her family – and herself.

With the truth liable to hurt those she loves most, she hires a private detective to find out what happened to her late mother in the summer before Allie was born. Taking leave from her job as a research scientist, she is led to the sun-drenched shores of Lake Garda, accompanied by her best friend Ed. But the secrets that emerge go far beyond anything they were expecting. Now, Allie must find the courage to confront her family’s tangled past and reshape her own future.

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might remember me having read and reviewed You, Me, Everything by Catherine Isaac. I mentioned loving the short chapters – making it feel like a quick read – and the hard topics Catherine incorperated in that story. Especially the latter stuck with me and came to mind when I saw her having another book ready to be released. So.. Guess what I’m reviewing today, haha!

The good

The thing that intrigued me most while reading, were the different POV’s and the time jumps. Apart from our main characters’ perspectives – Ed and Allie – we also get glimpses of the past, before Allie was born. Those had me hooked, I tell you. They were full of information, but you had to figure out for yourself how it’d fit into the story. Trying to puzzle it all together really was half the fun!
Basically, there’s the past before Allie’s birth, the past where we see her budding friendship with Ed and then the present. Those three keep switching throughout the book, making it a wonderful ride in which you see a lot of events and evolution happening.

The emotions! This truly was one hectic ride. There’s hope, love and family. There’s loss, grief, unanswered questions. There’s this undertone of something darker going on, of secrets better kept secrets and.. the combination of all those things had me hooked. I kept wanting to find out what was really going on, how it was all going to fit together. Not to mention what role certain side characters would get in the long run!

When does fine ever really mean fine?

The bad

Talking about characters.. Although Allie left for Italy in order to find out more about her family, I found it frustrating how she would be there and.. avoid the whole ordeal? I can see how you’d still want to enjoy the country and all, but the avoidance was real and it got on my nerves at times. I felt like it should’ve been balanced out a bit more. It sometimes took away from the story in a completely unnecessary way.

Messy, Wonderful Us is a hectic ride with a lot of emotions, a lot of hard topics and a wonderful story. Although Allie’s focus could’ve been a bit more on getting answers, I did still enjoy reading and couldn’t stop turning [digital] pages. An intriguing read that got wrapped up nicely – albeit with a bit of a bang!

What are some books set in European countries you loved?
Or maybe there are books set in the area you live in?
Are those common or does your area rarely get mentioned?




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