Monday, October 30, 2023

REVIEW: The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch by Jacqueline Firkins



As with Marlowe Banks, Redesigned, I was happily surprised with the depth there was to this romance. The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch is a quiet romance that mingles grief and love in a way that feels real; it never feels overdone or hits just right.

In this novel, Imogen Finch is coming off her kazillionth break up when Eliot Swift, the true owner of her heart, returns to town to take care of things after the death of his father. Fairly quickly we learn that both Imogen and Eliot consider the other one 'the one that got away' and they decide to take some time to explore what being together would be like. Interspersed with that are little vignettes of Imogen's various failed love affairs and snapshots of town life in their home town, a town Eliot couldn't run away from fast enough when he graduated from high school. And mixed in with all of that is an exploration of what it means to love yourself, what it means to be responsible to and for others, and what it means to truly give space to those around you to grow and learn about themselves. 

While there are some funny moments, I felt a sense of nostalgia and longing tinged throughout and it's that combo that enriched an already good read. When you throw in some really interesting secondary characters and a moodiness that almost begs you to sit back and reflect on your own evolution, how can you not enjoy The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch.


Jacqueline Firkins's The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch is a beautiful story of friendship, and second chances at love.

Imogen Finch has just been through her seventeenth breakup. She saw it coming, so she's not as crushed as she might be, but with all seventeen of her exes leaving her for other partners, she's come to believe a prediction her well-intentioned and possibly clairvoyant mother made over twenty years ago: that Imogen would never come first at anything or to anyone. Is her love life failing due to a magical curse? Insufficient effort? Poor timing or personality mismatches? Everyone has opinions on the matter.

Imogen's ready to give up altogether. But when Eliot Swift, her secret high school crush, returns to their small coastal town after a decade of nomadic travels, Imogen has new motivation to try again. Eliot's full of encouragement. He suggests that her curse is not only imagined, it's easily breakable. All they need is one win--
any win--and she can believe in love, and in herself again.

From trivia games to swimming races to corn-shucking contests, the pair sets out to snag Imogen her first first. But when victory proves more elusive than Eliot anticipated, and when his deep-seeded wanderlust compels him to depart for far away places, Imogen fears she's destined to remain in second place forever. Fortunately for them both, sometimes magic lingers in the most unexpected places. And love is far from predictable.

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