The Mistake I Made // by Paula Daly


//published 2015//

This book came highly recommended by two of my favorite bloggers, Cleopatra Loves Books and Reading, Writing & Riesling.  One of the reasons I love blogging about books so much is the opportunity to follow and interact with other book bloggers – you are all the reason that actually reading everything on the TBR is an unattainable goal!!  :-D  So even though this premise wasn’t usually one that would draw me, how could I resist the double recommendation??

However, The Mistake I Made didn’t end up being my cup of tea, but the writing was strong and I have added Daly’s other books to the TBR as well.  (And Cleo and Carol should not feel at all bad for loving a book that I didn’t!  One of the joys is reading is that not every book is for everyone.)

Roz is a single mom with a lot of financial problems because her ex-husband seems to be stuck in 16-year-old land where money just magically appears when you need it.  Because of him, her once-thriving small business failed, and no matter what she does, Roz just doesn’t seem to be able to get ahead.

Daly does an excellent job drawing us into Roz’s life, making her situation believable and frustrating, without bogging down the story with a lot of extra angst.  Despite her troubles, Roz is still very likable, and she was a character that I wanted to help.  I also appreciated that while a lot of Roz’s problems were because of her ex-husband, we didn’t have to listen to pages of her ranting about what a terrible person he is – she accepted her part of the responsibility as well.

But just when things look darkest, Roz is offered a solution to her money problems: if she is willing to spend a night with him, a fellow Roz knows is willing to pay her quite a large amount of money. Again, Daly doesn’t overplay this or oversimplify it.  Instead, Daly was able to write this situation in a manner that made me wonder if I would have also made Roz’s decision – an offer that, had you asked me at the beginning of the book, I would have dismissed out-of-hand as ridiculous.

(And, just to be clear, there isn’t anything terribly gratuitous in the writing – we’re not talking Fifty Shades of Grey or anything like that.)

For me, where the book failed is just that I simply knew what was going to happen.  This doesn’t happen to me very often, so I was kind of surprised when, halfway through the book, I just saw how everything was going to play out, and every page I read just confirmed it for me.  I found myself starting to skim and – well, I was right!  It was super weird, if I’m honest, because I’m usually just quite dreadful at guessing plot lines.  But somehow the tension was gone.

So while I would put this at a 3/5, I still found it engaging enough to be interested in Daly’s other work.

#11 for 20 Books of Summer!!!