Annie and her devoted but comically incompetent childhood sweetheart Sam are the owners and operators of Annie’s, a gourmet sandwich shop, home to the legendary Paul Bunyan Special Sandwich–their “nutritionally challenged continual source of income and marital harmony and local fame.”
But into their mostly charmed marriage comes the scary medical diagnosis for Annie–and the overwhelming challenge of finding a way to help Sam go on without her. Annie decides to leave Sam step-by-step instructions for a future without her, and considers her own replacement in his heart and their bed. Her best-laid plans grind to a halt with the unexpected appearance of Ursula, Annie’s Manhattan diva of a mother, who brings her own brand of chaos and disruption into their lives.
I didn’t really care for these characters, and that made it hard to enjoy this book. Solid writing, so this is clearly just a “me” issue, but the characters just didn’t work for me. Sam was so incompetent as to be almost a farce and Annie was over-the-top take charge and let him be incompetent, which was frustrating to read. Their complete lack of communication was also irritating. So much pain could have been avoided if either of them had had the tiniest bit of bravery.
Mameve Medwed is from Bangor, Maine. Minus Me is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Alcove Press in exchange for an honest review.)