Alabama, 1947. War’s over, cherry-print dresses, parking above the city lights, swing dancing. Beautiful, seventeen-year-old Violet lives in a perfect world. Everybody loves her.
In 2012, she’s still beautiful, charming, and surrounded by admirers.
Veronica “Ronni” Johnson, licensed practical nurse and aspiring writer, meets the captivating Violet in the assisted living facility where Violet requires no assistance, just lots of male attention. When she dies, she leaves Ronni a very generous bequest―only if Ronni completes a book about her life within one year. As she’s drawn into the world of young Violet, Ronni is mesmerized by life in a simpler time. It’s an irresistible journey filled with revelations, some of them about men Ronni knew as octogenarians at Fairfield Springs.
Struggling, insecure, flailing at the keyboard, Ronni juggles her patients, a new boyfriend, and a Samsonite factory of emotional baggage as she tries to craft a manuscript before her deadline.
But then the secrets start to emerge, some of them in person. And they don’t stop.
Veronica “Ronni” Johnson is our hero. That did make me laugh. You see I was Veronika known to many as Ronnie at school, though I was Veronika with a ‘k’ and Ronnie with an ‘e’ on the end. When I grew up I became Vee as Ronnie sounded too 1960s.
The writing in It All Comes Back To You is brilliant and I loved both Ronni and Violet. The men not so much. Johnny has an accident and rejects Violet afterwards. Sam is too weak to stand up to his parents and defy their religious bigotry – is that being unfair? I have personal experience of this so maybe I’m biased. Violet’s husband Tolly is a nasty, horrible man and well we’ll see what happens next. As for Chet – I’d love to discuss, but there would be too many spoilers.
Then there is Rick. I tried to like him but he would not be my idea of a partner. I found him rather overpowering to be honest. I’d have ditched him pretty quick after his ex phones Ronni and dishes the dirt, but there’s no accounting for taste. He makes her feel safe but then so would a bolt on the door and a can of mace and I’d definitely resort to the former if not the latter.
I did love Halle though but then even the cat is female.
There is so much humour in this book as well as sadness and regret. Ronni’s conversations with Kait at the rest home are hilarious and the descriptions of some of the residents are brilliantly funny. And Ronni can be really funny as well.
‘I’d spent a lot of my childhood in Violet’s hometown of Anniston. I despised it, but it was the cradle of all that was dear to her. As soon as she found out I had a car…she asked me to drive her around and reminisce. I’d rather have reminisced about my first root canal.’
It’s such a great story, I really couldn’t stop reading. I can understand that this book is like Marmite but a few of the reviews really shocked me. Sometimes I wish people would remember that this is fiction and it’s not meant to be totally realistic so get over it and enjoy the ride. And I wish someone would offer to leave me loads of money to write a novel based on their life. I wouldn’t hesitate. Any offers?
And don’t you just love the cover of the book. It’s gorgeous. I think it may be my favourite ‘cover of the year’.
Many thanks to @zooloo2008 for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.
About the Author
Beth Dial Duke is an Amazon #1 Best Selling author and the recipient of short story awards on two continents. She is eyeing the other five.
Beth lives in the mountains of her native Alabama with her husband, one real dog, and one ornamental dog. She loves reading, writing, and not arithmetic. Baking is a hobby, with semi-pro cupcakes and amateur macarons a speciality. And puns–the worse, the better.
Travel is her other favourite thing, along with joining book groups for discussion. If a personal visit isn’t possible, she is fluent in Zoom. Please visit bethduke.com for more information, to request a book club visit, and to see photos of the most beautiful readers in the world!
Follow her at:
Website : bethduke.com
Twitter : https://twitter.com/bethidee