Every single book is like an Ed Sheeran song coming to life. (Of course, this reminds me the first time Mike and I saw Ed Sheeran in Philly and his adorable singing along, as pictured. He's the best husband EVER.)
In each book there is romance and truth and simple childhoods and castles on hills and lots of the Sherwood Forest (I am not sure Ed has song about the Sherwood Forest, but he clearly lives on the edge of the forest, maybe.). There are people with real serious issues like mental illnesses and addiction and shame and there is even some mentions of church in a real life way. And there are characters with disabilities. There are also intolerable characters that somehow you still fall a little in love with! There are ridiculous, funny episodes that are written so beautifully that you can see the scene happening (and maybe even remember a time something embarrassing happened and you laughed until you cried). Oh, and, there is endless, beautiful friendship.
GUYS, there is even Galway Girl and Shape of You type dancing in some chapters. Oh and old people who miss their dead spouses like Nancy Mulligan with all those grandchildren.
And of course, the main character always falls in love with the slightly damaged neighbor who lives by Sherwood Forest who is a park ranger/trainer/retired lawyer/secret romance writer and has nice arms. I mean isn't every Ed Sheeran song basically a love song?
Well, every Beth Moran book is a love story to friendship, laughter, empowerment, healthy relationships and community.
I've read six of her books in rapid succession: Let It Snow, Christmas Every Day, We Belong Together, A Day that Changed Everything, Just the Way You Are and I just finished How Not To Be a Loser.
For me, reading positive, uplifting, but still truthful and wickedly funny books is such an escape from days spent writing about childhood cancer (even the research stories I write threaten my mental health some days) and days spent worrying about childhood cancer sneaking up on our family again. I had a hard time Monday night--just triggered by several things and I found peace in my husband's arms (I did yell at him first, full disclosure. It is not all Valentine's Day over here.) and Beth Moran's stories.
I might be in love with her a little bit (just like my husband is totally in love with Ed Sheeran a little bit).
My latest Moran read, How Not to Be a Loser, follows the journey of a former almost-Olympic swimmer as she struggles with anxiety and agoraphobia. I picked this book because the title made me laugh and feel seen. I've been known to write notes in my notebook about not wanting to live in "loserville," so I get the sentiment. The characters in the book were so diverse and so real. Plus, there was a plot line involving a mom with a child with disabilities who could not access a pool. I love books that include people who are typically unseen--like special needs moms and their amazing children who are sidelined by the way the world is set up.
Friends, you know I get that more than most.
Even with this serious, real issue--the joy and humor and beauty wasn't lost. It wasn't a sad story--it was a real story.
Next on my Beth Moran is Take a Chance on Me and then her newest book, Because you loved me, will be released on January 11!
PS Because I am a total STALKER I had to find Beth's website (which is there because she wants to be found right?) and guess what? She used to work in cancer research and now writes the most beautiful novels. Then, I found her on GoodReads (this is not stalkerish and totally normal, right?), Instagram (I MEAN this is a public place) and now I just inboxed her and I will wait and wait for a reply!