Meet Kate- she’s a middle school math teacher whose dedication to her job is only outmatched by her dedication to her five year old niece Priscilla. When her sister couldn’t care for Priscilla, Kate stepped in, for though she’s the younger sibling, she’s always been the one who shouldered responsibility the best. Kate’s life, especially her personal life, are at the center of Jennifer C. Thorson’s novel Lunch in the Park.
Kate is the type of character with whom many women can relate. She is a caregiver, a hard worker, and she rarely takes time for her own interests or pursuits, simply because there are usually never enough hours in a day. Though she never expected her life to place her where she is now, she’s happy to be raising her young niece, and she’s beginning to think that this might just be it to life. She, of course, would be wrong, but how long will it take for her to see clearly what life is now offering? At first, Kate tries to deny that there is anything substantial to the occasional dates she goes on with Jeff, the man with the excitable yellow lab who she and Priscilla met in the park. Kate’s first thoughts are always of Priscilla’s needs and care, and she is hesitant to expose her to any relationship that may be just fleeting. Readers will realize quicker than Kate that this is more than just a passing fling.
I enjoyed this lighthearted read that worked a romance angle without being a “romance book.” Kate is a believable character, as is the dialogue and text messaging in which the characters communicate. Though a quick read, there is still enough heft to the story to make it engaging and thought-provoking, and I was emotionally invested in the characters, hoping that they’d come to provide the happiness for each other that they each needed.
Lunch in the Park is available as an ebook, and in the interest of full disclosure, I must share that the author is an acquaintance of mine who lives in the same city. That being said, my review reflects my unbiased opinion on the merits of the work.