Poring over a dusty hatbox of photographs in her grandmother’s closet, Emily Prentice is shocked to discover her father was married to his high school sweetheart before meeting her mother.
In the summer of 1968, Jack and Libbie fall in love under the spell of their small town, untouched by the chaos of the late sixties. Though Libbie’s well-to-do parents disapprove of Jack’s humble family and his aspiration to become a mechanic, she marries Jack a year after they graduate high school. But soon their happiness crumbles as Libbie’s mental state unravels and she is drawn to alcohol and drugs. Despite his efforts to help her, Jack loses the woman he loves and is forced to move on with his life.
Now that Emily’s mother has passed away, Jack is alone again, and Emily grows obsessed with the beautiful woman who had given her father such joy. Determined to find Libbie, Emily pieces together the couple’s fragmented past. But is it too late for happy endings?
Finding Libbie tells such a moving story. It begins with Emily helping her grandmother to clean out her farm house before she moves. Emily finds an old hat box of letters and photos, and realizes her father was married as a young man, before he met her mother.
The first part of the book tells the story of Emily's father, Jack, and his first love Libbie. They were high school sweethearts in 1968, although she came from a prominent family and he was from a strong working class family. The book beautifully captures small town life in the 1960's, with details like an outdoor movie on a big screen, Dairy Queen, a roller rink, an A&W drive in, a Fourth of July carnival.
Jack and Libbie are both likable, sympathetic characters and I really enjoyed reading about their early romance. For this reason, I found it really hard to read about Libbie's unhappiness and addiction.
The second part of the book involves Emily's search for Libbie. As I read along, I really hoped for happiness for these characters that I came to care for in Finding Libbie. I liked Emily's look into the past and search for Libbie.
This is a well written, heartwarming, emotionally stirring book. I recommend it to fans of women's fiction, small town fiction, and family stories.
Deanna Lynn Sletten grew up on the sunny coast of Southern California before moving to northern Minnesota as a teenager. Her interest in writing novels was sparked in a college English class, and she has been writing in some form or another ever since. In 2011, Deanna self-published her first novel and has since published several more, both on her own and with Lake Union Publishing.
Deanna enjoys writing heartwarming women’s fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes readers on the adventure of a lifetime. She believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, magic, and happily ever after—all of which are reflected in her novels.
Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian shepherd or relaxing on her boat in the summer.