Just one month ago, I enjoyed reading Annette Chavez Macias‘s debut women’s fiction novel, Big Chicas Don’t Cry. Today, her new book Too Soon for Adiós hits shelves, and it’s even better than its predecessor. Set primarily in New Mexico, it follows a young woman who’s just lost her mother… and now has an opportunity to get to know the dad who was never in her life. Along with themes of family connection, it also weaves in romance and a sense of belonging.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Montlake for providing me with an ARC of this book!
Gabby Medina has just lost her mother to a battle with cancer, and is left with mountains of debt and a precarious job situation. To further complicate matters, the biological father she never knew has just entered her life with the offer of a house she can fix up and sell. It could solve her financial problems, but she’s not ready to have a relationship with the dad who abandoned her. When Gabby ultimately does take him up on his offer and move to Sonrisa, New Mexico, she will have to decide who to let in, what she wants to do with her culinary career, and where she wants to put down roots.
Too Soon for Adiós starts in a heavy place: Gabby Medina’s mother has just died, she’s in debt (a mixture of student loans and credit cards for her mom’s cancer treatment), and she’s unemployed. Getting her old job back doesn’t go well, even adding to the burden she carries. This is when the biological dad she never knew decides he wants to be a part of her life. He even offers her his late grandmother’s house, no strings attached. Gabby can fix it up, sell it, and keep the profits, thereby solving her financial woes. And with few options available to her, Gabby decides to move to New Mexico and do just that.
Gabby is a tough character, hiding her sensitive self under a shell of aloofness and sarcasm. This is how she keeps her dad, Raul, at arm’s length. It’s also how she keeps the Sonrisa town mayor and construction man, Diego Paz, at a distance. Gabby has anxiety and sometimes panic attacks, and she’s unsure how to get a new job as a sous-chef. She’s not looking to make any real connections with the people in Sonrisa; she just wants the house’s sale money so she can move on with her life.
Although it starts off with difficult events and themes, and it can be heavy in the first few chapters, Too Soon for Adiós does blossom into a lighter and easier read than I’d expected. As Gabby starts to get to know her neighbors and dad, and as she slowly becomes a part of the community, the sadness melts away, too. I loved seeing how Gabby navigates the new relationships, from her dad to the hot but annoying Diego to the strange neighbors. By learning about her family history and her family’s role in developing Sonrisa so long ago, Gabby finds an unexpected sense of belonging.
The tentative relationship with Raul is a highlight, even with its ups and downs. The romance that blooms between Gabby and Diego is also unexpectedly sweet. They both have tragedy in their past, but they can help each other heal. Even with the new relationships, Gabby can also rely on her two aunts and the kind co-worker from her previous job.
Too Soon for Adiós is a touching story of family connection, community, Mexican American history, and healing. Despite some heavy themes, it is ultimately a novel with levity, humor, and a heartwarming end.
Too Soon for Adiós achieves a good balance between emotional and sweet. Gabby’s relationships with Raul and Diego are both highlights, but it’s also heartening to see her grow more confident, develop new friendships, and find a sense of home with her new family. This is a quick yet memorable read that leaves me eager for more from Annette Chavez Macias.
CWs: death of mother to cancer; grief; panic attacks; sexual assault and attempted rape (on page); abuse and murder (of background character in past)
Get the Book
You can buy Too Soon for Adiós here – it’s available as a paperback, ebook, and audiobook.
|Too Soon for Adiós by Annette Chavez Macias|
|Genre||Women’s Fiction; Contemporary Fiction|
|Setting||New Mexico; California|
|Number of Pages||300|
|Format I Read||ebook (NetGalley)|
|Original Publication Date||March 21, 2023|
From author Annette Chavez Macias comes a heartfelt novel about a woman who embarks on an emotional journey when she meets her biological father on the day of her mother’s funeral.
No one expects to meet their father at their mother’s funeral. But for Gabby Medina, that’s exactly what happens. Her dad abandoned her when she was a baby, and now he’s back.
And he wants to give her a house.
Gabby doesn’t want the house—or him. But she could use the money. So Gabby agrees to take it under two conditions: First, she can sell the house whenever she wants. Second, accepting it doesn’t mean she accepts him.
After they strike a deal, Gabby hires a contractor in preparation for a quick sale. But as she gets to know the town and these two new men in her life, she learns more about herself than she ever dared to think possible.
But is she ready to open herself up to the truth of what happened—and the promise of what could be?
About the Author
Annette Chavez Macias writes stories about love, family and following your dreams. She is proud of her Mexican-American heritage, culture and traditions. All of which can be found within the pages of her books. For those readers wanting even more love stories and guaranteed happily ever afters, Annette also writes romance under the pen name Sabrina Sol. A Southern California native, Annette lives just outside Los Angeles with her husband, three children and four dogs.
More Reviews of Annette Chavez Macias’s Books
Big Chicas Don’t Cry
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