Your Roots Are Showing Review
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Lizzie Buckley seems to have the dream life. She has a gorgeous and wildly successful husband, James—with whom she’s raising adorable three-year-old twins Alex and Ellie—and she lives in a beautiful home in the country. But Lizzie’s life isn’t as perfect as it may seem. James is often away on business, leaving her to wrangle two active toddlers on her own. Their beautiful country home is right next door to the home of Lizzie’s disapproving mother-in-law. And, to make matters worse, she and James seem to have lost that spark.

On one especially rough morning, Lizzie emails her sister to vent—but the email accidentally goes to James instead. James declares it the end of their marriage, and Lizzie suddenly finds herself starting over—a single mom living with her two kids in a rented cottage.

  
 
James seems to have no problem moving on—but Lizzie soon finds that it’ll take more than chocolate and a comfy pair of sweats to help her get over the man she still loves.

Though it touches on some very difficult topics—things like heartbreak and depression—Your Roots Are Showing is a delightful read. It’s often brutally honest, but it’s written with a great sense of humor—which helps to take the edge off some of the heavier subject matter.

Chidley does an excellent job of developing her characters—especially poor, depressed Lizzie. Even if you haven’t experienced postpartum depression or the collapse of a marriage, you’ll share in her heartbreak. You’ll understand why she lives in old sweatpants and eats more than she should. And while you won’t always like her—or her behavior—you’ll love her anyway, and you’ll care about what happens to her.

But Your Roots Are Showing isn’t just about depression; it’s also about recovery. And as Lizzie begins to pull herself out of her depression, you’ll share in her joys. You’ll love her innocently observant children. You’ll feel her exhilaration as she starts taking off the extra weight and feeling better about herself. And as she transforms herself into a stronger, more confident woman, you can’t help but feel proud of her.

Meanwhile, the supporting characters—from Lizzie’s batty new neighbor, Ingrid Hatter, to her tough but loving friend, Tessa—add even more heart and humor to the story. But I was especially fascinated by James—and his strangely cold and uncaring behavior. I kept trying to guess what he was up to—and why he was such a jerk—and I couldn’t wait to learn more about him.

Unfortunately, though, after a buildup that’s nearly flawless, the book’s abrupt conclusion is a letdown. Things come together a bit too easily; everything just falls into place, with little or no explanation needed. And after getting to know (and care about) Lizzie over more than 300 pages, I was greatly disappointed by the way her story ended.

Still, unsatisfying conclusion aside, Your Roots Are Showing is an honest and enjoyable novel that’s filled with realistic characters and seasoned with just the right amount of wit. Chidley’s sincerity is a breath of fresh air in a genre that’s often overflowing with fluff—and I look forward to reading more from this promising newcomer.

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