In the spirit of Ruth Hogan and Adriana Trigiani, bestselling British author Debbie Johnson brings us the ultimate in “happy tears”: a heartfelt story about a woman seizing the chance to reconnect with her lost love.
The truth changes everything.
For years Jess believed that Joe—the father of her child and the only man she ever loved—had abandoned her during her greatest time of need. That belief nearly destroyed her. Seventeen years later, when cleaning out her mother’s house, Jess unpacks a box of cards and letters hidden in the attic and makes a discovery that changes everything about life as she knows it.
Shaken but empowered, Jess—and her two stalwart best friends—set out on a remarkable journey to follow a set of faded postmarks around the world. Is Joe still alive? Does he know that Jess never forgot him? Maybe their love story isn’t over.
Absolutely adored this one. It hit me on so many emotional levels. The story is heartbreaking at times but yet it mentally recharged my batteries. There's a good message of just going out there and living your life even if you have been dealt a horrible hand. There’s humor, there’s mystery, a sense of adventure, just so many things. Highly recommend checking this book out.
When Jess unpacks a box of card and letters in her mother's attic, it shocks her to the core. For seventeen years Jess believed Joe had left her when she needed him the most. But there's more to the story than she possibly can imagine. Stick around and see if Jess with the help of some friends can track down what happened to Joe.
It was easy to feel invested in Jess and I loved how the author explored there wasn't necessarily one outcome that would give Jess the opportunity to start living her life. As the story went on, my admiration for Jess grew as she was confronted with different situations. The humorous banter between her and the people helping her out provided much needed comic relief as the story does have sad moments. The transitions between the present day and Jess reading the cards and letters from years ago worked well.
This book was a 5 star read for me and part of the reason for that is the timing of when I read the book. Sometimes our life experiences influence our opinions of books and I think that's perfectly natural. Is this book going to be a perfect read for everyone? Probably not, but I do believe most readers will enjoy the story at the very least.
Thank you to William Morrow for sending me a copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.
When I saw my friend Kaceey’s 5 Star review for the upcoming The Moment I Met You I knew I had to check out Debbie Johnson’s stuff. And then when my turn finally came up at the library for this release and I went to add it to my Currently Reading I realized I have already read her before. Whoops! I’m telling you, the ol’ brain sure ain’t what she used to be.
Upon starting this one I was truly terrified that I was going to end up looking a little like this . . . .
But I did what I do best by swallowing down any pesky emotion before it could ever even get near to bubbling over. And then I realized that despite containing a true tragedy of losing a child and then losing herself in the aftermath, the tale of Jess’ discovery of old letters in her recently deceased mother’s attic and a roadtrip to find the love of her life was truly meant to leave the reader with this sort of result . . . .
While I didn’t feel emotionally manipulated – or if I did it was in a good way - by this as it truly was obviously meant to be a feel good story that simply had a bit of melancholy thrown in as well, meeting the various characters and hearing their stories about Joe . . . .
Got a little tiring. As did the infinite road trip. And I’m a girl who loves a dang road trip story *sadface* Buuuuuuuuut, anything that gives me some Letters to Juliet vibes is still pretty good chick lit . . . .
So chalk it up to a cold heart and take my 3.5 with a grain of salt. I’m still really looking for to Johnson’s new book when it comes out in March and already asked the library to purchase a copy.
4.5⭐ this one was a tear jerker but oh so good! A heartfelt second chance romance. After her mother's death, Jess and her cousin Michael are cleaning out the attic, and find a box full of letters from Joe, Jess's lost love! She was lied to by her parents! There was an accident, and they had lost their young daughter Grace. Jess ended up hospitalized with a breakdown. Her parents then told her Joe had left her because he couldn't copw. She was devastated. Now come to find out, it just wasn't true. Jess, her cousin and her friend set out to try and find Joe by following the letters addresses so Joe and Jess can have their happy ending. This one pretty much had it all! Highly recommend!
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted review copy! All opinions are my own!
Sweet, heartfelt book, just what I needed right now.
This novel is ultimately very satisfying, but it also has some very sad and gut-wrenching parts about it. It shows that life is a journey, and the people we encounter are parts of that journey. Even if we only know them for a short time, they leave a mark on our lives and go on to share love with other people because of it.
Jess has just lost her mother and she and her cousin begin to go through the items in the attic of the house. Jess finds a box of cards and letters that turn everything she thought she knew about her life completely on its head. In the box are letters from Joe, the man her parents told Jess abandoned her in her darkest hour. The letters spur Jess on a quest to find Joe--and the results aren't exactly what she was expecting, yet they are exactly what she needs.
I did shed a few tears while reading this one, but as I said at the beginning, it was exactly the book I needed to read at the time I read it.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
3.75/5. Interesting premise of a woman's road trip across continents and through time to track down her lost love. The pacing can be too slow at times, but then the author rewards the reader with interspersed heart-warming/moving moments that make it all worthwhile to hang on right till the end of the ride. Don't read this for the romance, because even though central to the plot is a love-story, it is more about her journey, her reflections and her growth as she navigates the years from the early days of her youthful romance to the present day. Finding herself in her late thirties, alone again after yet another devastating personal loss, Jess learns that the love of her life, Joe, did not abandon her in her darkest hours seventeen years earlier. Thus starts the Jess's odyssey in search of the truth, and Joe.
This book completely shattered me, I was a blubbering mess from early on and right the way through to the end. There were times I literally had to stop reading as I couldn’t see for crying. What a heartbreakingly wonderful book. Each new person Jess meets in her quest to find Joe left me with a smile and a tear in my eye. I had no idea of the emotional journey this book was going to take on when I started, whilst there are some funny and light hearted moments, the issues dealt with in this book are deep, thoughtful and moving. I loved every moment of pain and anguish Jess did and experienced Joes as the story unfolded. I loved the character of Michael, he and Belinda were the perfect balance that this book needed. After reading this book I’m certainly experiencing a book hangover!
Poor Jess discovers after her Mothers death that everything in her life has been a lie. The man she knew in her heart who was the love of her life hadn't really abandoned her but instead her parents had lied to her and told her to carry on with her life without her man.
When Grace, her little daughter dies, Jess ends up in hospital having suffered a breakdown. Over time Jess resumes her life only to discover a box of secrets in the attic which had been hidden away for years which she discovers following her Mum's death
Loss and grief and lots of emotions as you turn the pages and get lost in the story of this rollercoaster ride. This is not my usual genre but I loved the writing by Debbie Johnson and found myself researching the author with a view to read more of her books.
On the day Jess says goodbye to her Mum at her funeral she doesn't realise that her life is about to change as she goes on an adventure with her cousin Michael to discover what really happened in the past. Joining Michael and Jess is a fabulous character called Belinda who as they navigate around Ireland and the UK they trace Joe and discover the life he had - that he had built up a future thinking that Jess didn't want him.
Heartwarming and sad at the same time with sprinkle of hope and a glimmer of happiness. I would recommend this read and its characters - it will have you almost reaching for a handkerchief and hoping for an ending that Jess deserves. Thank you for the advance copy.
This is an emotional journey of love and loss that I was happy to go on with Jess. She’s been through so much. All of the characters were so likeable. It was a joy to see the growth that Jessica experienced while exploring the path that Joe took. The ending left me wanting a little bit more though. Overall, good read.
This book really put my heart through the ringer. It was an emotional ride filled with lots of ups and downs. I knew going in that it wouldn't be an easy read, but I wasn't quite prepared for how heartbreaking this story would be. There are quite a few CW's that readers should be aware of before starting this journey (please see below).
Maybe One Day is an epic love story, but it's also a story about facing tragedy and finding yourself. I was fully invested in Jess and Joe's story and couldn't wait to see where it would all lead, but I also loved seeing Jess finally come into her own. Following the letters and clues from place to place kept me on the edge of my seat, as I pieced together the years right along with Jess, Michael, and Belinda. Speaking of Belinda and Michael, they really helped balance the story so well. They gave much needed comic relief when things got a bit too heavy and I loved how supportive they all were in seeing this journey through. Unfortunately, the ending left me wanting more and it all wrapped up a bit abruptly (especially because of how much these two endured through the years). My heart was left happy and hopeful though, and I want to believe I know how things look in the future.
The audiobook was wonderful and the narration by Laura Kirman was truly a treat. She gave such an emotional performance, making me tear up one moment and then burst out laughing the next. I did have problems at times understanding the different accents, but she really did such a fantastic job.
CW: death of parent, death of child, car accident, PTSD, complicated grief, mental illness and hospitalization, homophobia, child abuse, toxic family/foster family relationships
*I voluntarily listened to a review copy of this book*
As I've read the last few pages I have tears pricking my eyes. I had no real idea just which direction this massive journey would take, I was happy to go with the flow and just see what the author did with the characters.
But that ending, it's just right, I couldn't have thought of a more apt way to round up this book, and this massive story of lost love.
I've always known Debbie Johnson is a fabulous author, but this book seems to have catapulted her to a whole new level, I really had no idea what to expect from the book, the blurb gives an idea but thankfully doesn't touch the surface of just what's inside the covers.
And because I went into this story with blind faith that I knew I loved the author and thus would be happy with whatever was written, I really do think the less you know about the specifics the better.
In a nutshell Jess discovers just after her mother's death that most of her recent life has been a lie, and that the love of her her life didn't abandon her. After some thought she decides she will do he best to track down Joe despite very little info.
On one level it is a group of three unlikely people going on potentially a wild goose chase of a road trip. On another level its a story that take in assorted tough topics including grief, and mental health. We also get to see how one man can have an impact on so many people's lives in different ways.
It's a story full of hope, as we learn not only just what happened all those years ago that lead to Jess and Joe no longer being in each others lives, and we learn just what they have been up to in the years since.
It's a rather emotional book, but at the same time, its a book that is filled with love. Love shown in many different ways but most certainly of love.
Pretty much nothing I can say will be able to do this story justice, just trust me, especially if you have enjoyed books on my recommendations in the past, that this is a special book and needs to be read. Currently I would put this right up in my top books of 2020.
Thank you to Orion and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Jess has (mostly) lived her life by her parent’s rules. She’s stayed within the routines and doing what ‘should’ be done. Her life after Joe feels very saturnine and predictable, not engaging with life or emotions (for obvious reasons)… until her mother’s death and the finding of the hidden box of letters and postcards in the attic. This opens up a gateway for Jess to start remembering and opening herself up to opportunities and emotions. But she doesn’t do it alone, she has Belinda and Michael by her side. They’re both fabulous characters and bring so many emotions to the story.
From Jess’ reflections/flashbacks we meet her as she starts rebelling at the age of 16 and other key points in her life. From Joe’s letters and the people Jess meets on her quest to find out more about his life, a picture builds of the type of person he is. His messages to Jess (how to be brave and more!) are heart-warming. I loved them both! Jess learning to break those parental expectations is a slow process and I cheered her on every step of the way. I didn’t know if we would ever get to meet Joe – I loved the suspense – and thoroughly enjoyed walking beside Jess, Michael and Belinda as they follow in his footsteps. Those footsteps take us to Ireland, Cornwall, London and New York. Debbie Johnson’s writing brings these places to life with their sights, sounds, smells and tastes.
I applauded and whooped at the incident in school when Jess takes her first stand. I cried big, ugly tears when Belinda shared with Michael. I also cried when Jess finally reads her mother’s letter. And more big, ugly tears at the ending. I really didn’t expect that! There are so many positives as Jess powers through obstacles and questions her habitual responses. Belinda and Michael brought amusement and laughter (loved their banter!). I can guarantee you won’t be able to hold your emotions in check.
Maybe One Day is more than a quest to find a lost love. It’s about family and friendships and putting others before yourself. It’s about overcoming childhood issues to be the best that you can be. Highly recommended!
Where to start? First, while I really enjoyed this, it is not your typical Debbie Johnson novel which really threw me because I kept expecting the novel to be something it isn't.
Jess returns to the family home after her mother's funeral and discovers that for the past 17 years her parents have deliberately hidden letters and cards from her first love, Joe, addressed to her. Her sense of betrayal is only surpassed by her need to find Joe, to assure him that she didn't ignore him, to see if the spark is still there.
Using Joe's cards and letters Jess, her cousin Michael, and one of Joe's friends Belinda travel from place to place, piecing together Joe's life and the people he met along the way.
This vaguely reminds me of the film P.S. I Love You, mainly I suppose because Joe leaves a series of letters for Jess. We also see flashbacks to when Jess and Joe first met, and the events that led to them being separated.
I don't want to say too much more because the journey is part of the experience with this novel. It's sad, and uplifting, funny and poignant, touching and charming, different from Debbie Johnson's normal style but engrossing nonetheless.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I'm feeling very torn about how to review this book. On the one hand, Debbie Johnson's writing is amazing and I literally couldn't put this book down and devoured it in two days including staying up way too late last night until I could barely keep my eyes open. On the other, it was heart wrenching and I currently prefer my books to be lighter even if they're dealing with serious subjects.
I knew it was going to be different from her "Comfort Food Cafe" series as she discussed this in her last newsletter. I admire Johnson for heading in a different direction with her writing and acknowledge that she's written a powerful story. It takes courage to do something like this when she could have just continued to write more CFC sequels.
So, bottom line, it's a powerful, well written story that moved me to tears. Probably not a re-read unless I need a really, good cry (like re-watching "Cinema Paradiso").
Maybe One Day by Debbie Johnson was a very special book about an unconventional love story that was both utterly devastating and magnificent!
Jess and Joe will always have a special place in my heart.
Maybe One Day was a story of one woman’s literal journey across continents to find her first and true love Joe. Jess upon the death of her mum and dad discovered a box of of letters from Joe as she was cleaning out the attic. The truth she knew about Joe leaving her to start a new life when a devastating turn of events happened seventeen years ago, was all a lie. With her friend Belinda and cousin Michael, she treks on an adventure using the clues from his letters to follow Joe’s life over the years.
The story was told through letters and wonderful anecdotes from people whose lives have been touched by Joe. As he moved around his life trying to escape his past, he leads a life not soon to be forgotten, as he leaves every town he stays in somehow better than it was. I promise you, there is no one as kind, giving, authentic, and a more tender soul than is Joe.
I am in a puddle of tears as I had just finished this book right on time for my book club discussion, and what great tears they were. Too many times, when people have suffered great loss, they become bitter, withdrawn to the world and damaged from the hurt. Johnson wrote a deep and throughly poignant story of everyday relatable people that have suffered devastating loss and yet have continued to be a positive light on the lives of others.
Johnson delivered an incredibly uplifting story of love and hope, with a great cast of characters that will stay with you long after.
I’ve been on a bit of a romcom frenzy lately. I don’t know what it is about them, light, airy, fun, easy.. who knows? I loved this novel. The first I’ve read by Debbie Johnson and likely not the last. This book will pull on every heart string you have. Happy, sad, adventurous, anger, devastating, etc. I really can’t just pin it on one main emotion I felt. I even teared up a few times. This is exactly what I wanted in a romcom. The “what might have been” and “if only”. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
What an emotional rollercoaster! Get your tissues ready! This one was a tear jerker. It deals with loneliness and loss, but also incorporates some humor in there too. Not my typical read, but it was one I would suggest for anyone wanting a good emotional read. Sad, but uplifting at the same time. Thank you to the publisher for a free copy and to Goodreads as well.
With a slightly slow start it got better and better. Jess has been a shadow of herself with so much having happened in her life. The latest being her mother's death that leads her on a hunt, a treasure hunt to find Joe. Her one that got away. With the help of cousin Michael a unique and special relationship making this book different they end up hearing many stories and travelling to many places. The last being New York where she thought all had been lost to be found again. The story of Gracie was so sad and beautifully written. 4.5 stars
It was the perfect ending, but I still want more! 😢
This was my first Debbie Johnson book and I loved the writing style. Lots of detail and development at a gently moving pace. The story ebbed and flowed through tragedy, whimsy, heartbreak, and little surprises. I’m all about the feels and this one nearly did me in on multiple occasions. I wasn’t ever sure of the direction, or rather the destination, but was completely there for the ride and wasn’t at all disappointed.
Jess erfährt, dass ihre große Liebe sie nach einem schweren Schicksalsschlag nicht einfach im Stich ließ - sondern er von ihren Eltern genauso belogen wurde wie sie selbst. Problem: das ganze ist schon fast 20 Jahre her, und sie hat keine Ahnung wo Joe jetzt steckt. Also macht sie sich auf die Suche...
Ich fand es super, dass Debbie Johnson die Schnitzeljagd, auf die sie Jess schickt, nicht nur so halbherzig andeutet (wie es oft in Büchern mit ähnlichem Thema passiert), sondern nachvollziehbar gestaltet und uns an jeder Etappe voll teilnehmen lässt. Das ist ihr auch schon in "Von A wie allein bis Z für zusammen" hervorragend gelungen, da ging es um zwei zerstrittene Schwestern auf einer Reise in ihre gemeinsame Vergangenheit, die sie wieder zusammen bringen soll.
Jess hingegen will durch das Abgrasen der einzelnen Stationen von Joes Leben und durch die Gespräche mit Leuten, denen er nahe war zumindest ansatzweise nachvollziehen kann, was ihre große Liebe in all den Jahren so getrieben hat. Sie muss sich zwar dabei von Brotkrumen zu Brotkrumen hangeln, und manchmal sind die Krumen auch nur kleine Krümel. Aber mit einer gehörigen Portion Glück schlägt sie dennoch immer wieder die richtige Richtung ein.
Mir hat die Geschichte richtig gut gefallen, auch wenn es teilweise auch sehr traurig war. Besonders die Reise von Jess fand ich Klasse. Die Charaktere sind Debbie Johnson ebenfalls gelungen. Selbst Joe kennt man am Ende ziemlich gut, dabei kommt er immer nur in Briefen und Erzählungen aus zweiter Hand vor. Am Ende wäre ein kleiner Epilog noch toll gewesen, aber sonst habe ich nichts zu meckern.
Sometimes I just need a super emotional story that gives me a good cry (anyone else?)- and this book fit the bill!
What I loved (everything): 💌Johnson crushed my heart multiple times... but somehow managed to keep me feeling hopeful and laughing along the way. 💌I loved the road trip theme. The settings and people they meet made the book shine. 💌Jess was an amazing and resilient character, the author managed to show her raw vulnerabilities without making her seem weak. 💌I fell in love with Joe through the cards and letters - they were so personal and highlighted the couple’s deep connection. 💌The humor that Jess’ cousin Michael and friend Belinda brought to this journey was exactly what the book needed to feel lighter
Lots of significant triggers here ⚠️: Death of a child, death of a parent, mental health hospitalization
My heart almost couldn’t take this one y’all 😭 It was such a beautiful story of loss, grief, and second chances. Jess has spent years believing that Joe, the love of her life, abandoned her during her darkest days. When her mother passes away she finds a box of letters from Joe that takes everything she thought she knew and turns it on it’s head.
This one is heavy, at times I had to take a minute away from what I was reading because the author did such a fantastic job of capturing Jess pain. As much as it was sad and heartbreaking there was always a sense of hope and in the end, that’s exactly how I felt. Do you ever find yourself in the mood for a book that’ll break your heart? The next time that happens give this one a try, it really was wonderful.
A beautiful and touching story of love, loss and hope. My heart was deeply moved by Jess and Joe’s story and the hardships of their lives.
The story was enhanced with warm humor, a cast of diverse characters, and a journey that extended miles and continents. I also loved the evolution of Jess and the strength of her character throughout the book. It is full of laughter and tears...and for me, a good deal of angst over what was to be discovered.
My one criticism of this book is that it ended too abruptly. I wanted more! But it left me overjoyed and relieved after a very emotional ride. I loved it.
Maybe One Day has a great premise and handles topics like grief, love, and second chances exceptionally well! This pulled on my heartstrings and I think the ending fit perfectly. I loved the sense of adventure and the mystery kept me turning pages. This had a bit of a slow start to get the story off the ground but it picked up about 80-100 pages in (and once it did I couldn’t put it down!). I really liked Jess’s character and loved following her journey, even with the heartache. Thank you to William Morrow for my gifted copy!
After finishing The Moment I Met You published in March of this year, I went back and immediately read this one published a year earlier because it had received so many favorable mentions and rave-reviews. And once again, I can’t deny that Debbie Johnson writes beautifully and that she delivers emotionally charged situations for her characters and readers to wade through -- but her endings have fallen short of satisfactory happily-ever-after expectations in this reader’s opinion in both instances.
I feel like the author’s main characters as a couple get cheated out of page time. It’s almost as if the poor hero gets thrown in a dark dungeon and forgotten for three-fourths of the book and then suddenly he’s dragged back out for the last hurrah. In this case as before, they’ve been separated for years and years and then suddenly in the last chapter the stars are twinkling, the moon is shining and everything is hunky-dory. Here, our so-called heroine suddenly appears, they cling to each other as the music plays in the background. No build-up, no what-the-hell-happened discussion – just wham bam and all is right with the world once again -- THE END.
This rejoining was a little too far-fetched to believe. COME ON . . . it’s New York City, not some small podunk town – and she’s from a different country out for a stroll in unfamiliar surroundings and just nonchalantly walks into the right bar at the right moment and there he stands drying shot-glasses. Nope, I’m just not that gullible.
This is my second book from this author, and I am once again so disappointed because it had so much going for it. There were some meaningful and special additives that stole my heart and were extra-special additions to the storyline. My disappointment has nothing to do with the plotting, characters or writing -- it was all in the journey and presentation. Another book from this author that simply screamed and begged for an Epilogue. “Maybe one day” -- but not this time.
This isn’t the review I wanted to be writing, but it is what it is. Maybe the third would be the charm. But I’m done - that’s all she wrote for me.