ARC Review: Delphine Jones Takes a Chance

Delphine Jones Takes a Chance by Beth Morrey
Publication Date: 5 April 2022

“What are we but a series of evolutions?”

Deeply emotional and wonderfully uplifting, Delphine Jones Takes a Chance (releasing as Em & Me in the UK) is a beautiful story of second chances and the power we all have to not be defined by our circumstances. Delphine is a single mom of a brilliant little girl, still living in a dank basement apartment with her father, and works at a low-paying job. She is haunted by the death of her mother when she was younger, an accident that she still blames herself for. Then she saw her bright future evaporate when she found out she was pregnant at 16, but she wouldn’t trade sweet Em for the world. The story opens with Delphine getting fired from her current job, and her dreams of achieving the future she always wanted – she and Em in a home of their own, furthering her education, finding love again – seem farther away than ever.

As we move through the story, Delphine gradually starts opening herself up to new opportunities, letting more people into her carefully-constructed world. Seeing her growth throughout this book, watching her self-confidence build and her heart and mind open up to others, is a wondrous experience. Through Delphine we see that life is indeed a series of evolutions. What we are today is not necessarily what we will be tomorrow, or next year, or when we’re in our 80s. We come to understand that it is never too late to make a change, no matter how difficult the road may seem to be or how trapped we may feel by our current circumstances.

While Beth Morrey gives us a slew of marvelously well-developed characters in this book, my favorite has to be Letty. She is an elderly widow and is straight-forward and sassy and brooks no nonsense from anyone. In other words, she is everything I aspire to be at her age. Letty hires Delphine to come to her home so that she has someone with whom she can converse in her native French. Delphine grew up speaking the language with her French mother, but now finds herself a bit rusty. I studied French for many years in my younger days, but now find myself a bit rouillée myself. Despite that, I was thrilled that I could still understand almost every French word on the page. I guess it really is like riding a bike. 😊

If you are seeking a contemporary novel that brings you love and friendship in their many forms, deals with the lasting effects of grief, and shows you the power of finding your tribe, all with a smattering of quirky characters thrown in, then Delphine Jones Takes a Chance is definitely worth checking out.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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