"The Laws of Harmony" by Judith Ryan Hendricks
Published by HarperCollins
Rating: 5 stars
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There is no easy way to summarize "The Laws of Harmony" because of all the plot twists and revelations infused throughout the book. I was pleasantly surprised when the story turned out to be filled with elements of mystery and deception, instead of being simply the women's fiction style novel that I was expecting. The straightforward part of the story revolves around Sunny Cooper, who is living with her boyfriend in Albuquerque, New Mexico until she discovers that people are not always as they seem and he has plenty of secrets of his own after a tragic accident. Sunny feels compelled to uproot her life and find somewhere else to call home. In a new town, Sunny befriends the locals and develops a whole new lifestyle but her past catches up to her and new challenges arise.
Judging by my rating, you can probably tell that I absolutely loved this book! Since I tend to enjoy plot twists, especially ones I don't see coming, this book offered a bonus for me, in addition to its charming story about love, life and relationships. Sunny is a complex character and yet really easy to relate to her feelings and fears. The secondary characters in the book are also really expertly crafted and I especially saw the residents of Harmony come to life.
There is also a really interesting inclusion of food and baking throughout the book. I love baking and so I was particularly fascinated by Sunny's expert culinary skills and the catharsis that baking brings to Sunny's life. I wish I could have some of her recipes to try out!
*edit: Sunny's recipe for Blackberry brownies can be found here!!
The ending of the story is somewhat open-ended which left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it leaves readers the opportunity to imagine whatever they'd like for Sunny's future but on the other hand, I feel like a part of the book is missing. An interview with the author at the end of the book seems to suggest the possibility of a sequel but nothing definite yet. I sincerely hope that there will be more of Sunny Cooper to come because I really feel like there is so much more that can be explored and I want to know what happens to her next!
This is the first book I've read by Judith Ryan Hendricks and I am positive it will not be the last!
I was so lucky enough to have received a copy of this book through Book Club Girl so a BIG THANKS to Jennifer and to HarperCollins, as well as for the lovely shawl, just like the one pictured on the cover!