The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
Published May 1, 2019
Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.
Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.
But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.
Amy Byler is a single mom taking care of her 15 year old daughter and 12 year old son, her husband went to Hong Kong for business and never came back, deciding to abandon their family and live on his own and eventually move onto a younger woman. And suddenly Amy is in a drug store and BAM! her ex-husband John is right there by the band-aids. And from there, Amy’s life just starts to change. I wouldn’t even know how to begin to deal with that, but Amy keeps it together and deals with the shit-storm like she always does. Coming back home after being gone for three years, John tries to make things better by offering to spend time with the kids he’s missed over the summer.
With being relieved of her motherly duties, Amy begins to focus on herself. She books a trip to NYC and gets tickets to a librarian conference she’s been wanting to go to. She reunites herself with an old friend who works at a magazine and they come to the idea of “momspringa” where as a mom, one leaves the nest and takes a vacation to get away. Although, conflicted with the feeling of abandoning her kids, Amy comes to terms with “momspringa” and starts coming into her own, learning who she is once again now that her kids are getting older and less dependent on her. She even finds a summer fling in Daniel, the sexy librarian.
This book is SO GREAT. It’s funny, entertaining and really kind of pulls at your heart. It’s such a great book about finding ones self and really figuring out who you are after a time of being lost. I, as a new mom have begun to feel a bit lost in who I am. I spend all day at work, go get my son, head home, put him to bed, and do some chores around the house and that’s pretty much it. I could understand Amy in how she feels like she’s lost her own identity. I feel like that’s why Amy is such a great character. She’s a woman who’s put herself aside for the well being of her family, who has sacrificed as much as she can and still perseveres and finally gets her time to figure out herself and really does take that leap to find out what she wants in life.
There’s a lot of wit, laughter, smiles, and even sometimes I was on the brink of tears or sadness for her, but I have to say, I think this book is actually one of my favorite 2019 reads. I was apprehensive when I first picked it up, but really diving into this book, I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.