Pressed Pennies Review
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Abby and Richard are best friends as children. Abby’s father is an abusive alcoholic, and Richard’s father is grieving the death of his wife. Richard and Abby find friendship and solace in each other while riding their bikes on warm summer nights and running around with the gang on Freedom Avenue. Then Richard’s father decides to move away, taking Richard with him and leaving behind a heart-broken Abby. It would be twenty years before their paths cross again.

When Abby and Richard reunite, Abby has just left an abusive relationship—she ended up marrying the same type of man her father had been. From that union, she had a daughter, Paige. Paige resents Richard’s presence in their lives, and it takes every ounce of patience and creativity Richard has to gain her trust and respect. But he loves Abby and will let nothing keep him from being with her.

Pressed Pennies is rich in sensory detail. I could feel, hear, see, taste, and smell everything. Mr. Manchester took me back to a childhood amusement park, where I relived the blast I had while driving bumper cars and getting back in line to have another go after the ride ended—the way my stomach flew into my throat on the roller coaster, the spectacular view from the top of the Ferris Wheel, and the taste of ice-cold cola and hotdogs smothered in chili and onions.

The author took me back to the ‘80s—big hair, parachute pants, Members Only jackets, short skirts over biker shorts, leg warmers, banana clips, and on and on and on…. Break dancing anyone? Then I was brought out of the ‘80s and into the here-and-now, where the American Family is traded in for the American Dream. Life is hectic as we start over, struggling with careers and relationships, and reach for second chances.

Warm-hearted and nostalgic, Pressed Pennies is a tale about life, mistakes, second chances, and how people handle what life gives them. But, most of all, it’s about love at any age, in all its many forms. A very enjoyable read.

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