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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Half of It

Narrator: Jane Oppenheimer


ISBN: 978-0063235960

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 04/11/2023

Format: Audiobook/e-book

My Rating: 4 Stars

“Fay beautifully navigates the layers of family and friendship, the great loves we lose, the imperfect marriages we manage with grace, and the unexpected miracles that will astonish us.”

—Randy Susan Meyers, international bestselling author of Waisted

One perfect night. Forty years of buried hurt. One chance to make it right. Can the past ever be fixed? With humor, heart, and grace, USA Today bestselling author Juliette Fay delivers a poignant, propulsive novel about settling the past, rekindling lost friendships, and discovering love when you least expect it.

“I’m wondering if we can be friends again.”

When 58-year-old Helen Spencer reviews her life, what she sees are the mistakes. Over the years, things seemed to go sideways incrementally, one little wrong decision at a time. She can even pinpoint where it all started to go awry: a wonderous, romantic night in the woods her senior year of high school with a boy named Cal Crosby. A night she would soon work hard to forget.

Forty years, one marriage, three children, and one grandbaby later, suddenly there he is—Cal Crosby!—right in front of her with grandchildren of his own in tow. The chance to finally get some answers and sort out what happened is within reach. But Helen would much prefer to keep that night and all the fury, hurt, and sorrow that followed tightly locked away where she doesn’t have to face it.

Cal Crosby, however, is ready to talk. He has no idea of the can of worms he’s about to open. In fact, he doesn’t know the half of it.

My Review

Juliette Fay's latest THE HALF OF IT, is a delightful and charming story of family, loss, love, relationships, marriages, friendship, forgiveness, regrets, and second chances.

One perfect night.

Forty years of buried hurt.

One chance to make it right.

Helen Spencer is 58 years old. When she looks back, she sees mistakes and regrets. Where did her life go?

There was a night she thinks of long ago. Her senior year of high school and a boy named Cal.

What if you could have a do-over or a second chance?

Forty years later, Cal turns up after a marriage, three children, and a grandchild. Does Helen want to relive the past and what she has tried so hard to put away?

But Cal does not know "the half of it."

From past to present and the pandemic, we get to see all sides.

What a fun story full of love, wisdom, and wise lessons. A perfect summer read with romance, friendship, and unexpected miracles and hope.

I do not read a lot of women's fiction, as more of a thriller, historical, or literary fiction; however, this cover was so striking it DREW me in. YES, covers matter. My first book by the author, and I look forward to reading more.

I enjoyed this heartfelt, second-chance romance story proving it is never too late for love.

For fans of authors Rochelle Weinstein, Colleen Oakley, Elizabeth Berg, and Allison Winn Scotch.

I read the e-book and ordered the audiobook, narrated by Jane Oppenheimer, which always delivers an outstanding performance.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: April 11, 2023

My Rating: 4 Stars


"Best-seller Fay (Catch Us When We Fall) presents a touching story of friendship, love, and forgiveness with relatable characters managing the emotional challenges of daily life. Fans of Anna Quindlen who enjoy expressive stories of human connection will enjoy this novel."

— Library Journal

"This tender novel explores regret, loss, and hope with humor and plenty of heart. Recommended for fans of heartwarming and moving relationship fiction and authors such as Kristan Higgins, Katherine Heiny, and Amy Poeppel."

— Booklist

Fay’s characters come to life in all their flawed glory as they explore the road not taken and a second chance at righting the past. Once again, Fay delivers a highly satisfying read."

— Lee Woodruff, New York Times bestselling author of In An Instant

"The Half of It is a warm and unconventional love story that considers what comes after marriages in which neither happily nor ever are quite in evidence. Instead, Juliette Fay gives us a heartfelt novel where hard-earned wisdom and long-awaited grace provide their own romance, passion, heartbreak, and, ultimately, hope."

— Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author

“Imbued with her trademark warmth and wit, The Half of It by Juliette Fay is a gorgeously written stunner of a novel about family, love, grief, and ultimately, second chances. Fay is a master of creating characters who feel so real, their stories so emotionally resonant—I know that Helen and Cal and their families will linger in my heart long after I turned the last page.”

— Jillian Cantor, USA Today bestselling author of Beautiful Little Fools

“This is a heartfelt and funny second-chance romance story that has a great big heart and a complex and interesting protagonist. Love in this book comes in so many shapes, ages and sizes, leading up to a surprising ending that had me in my feelings. You think it’s too late to find love? Well, you don’t know The Half of It."

— Catherine McKenzie, USA Today bestselling author of Forgotten and Hidden

“With humor, hope, and wisdom, Fay navigates the layers of family and friendship, the great loves we lose, the imperfect marriages we manage with grace, and the unexpected miracles that will astonish us.”

— Randy Susan Meyers, international bestselling author of Waisted

“The Half of It is, simply put, a dose of beauty. Fay invites you into a story where you feel so at home, you don't want it to end. I'm a longtime fan of Fay's work, and it's no exaggeration to say I enjoyed every word of The Half of It.”

— Jessica Strawser, bestselling author of the The Next Thing You Know

“What a sweet, tender, thought-provoking story about the messy layers of love, friendship, and family that entwine when two childhood friends with unfinished business reconnect as young grandparents… a unique twist on the theme of second chances.”

— Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author

About the Author

Photograph by Kristen Dacey Lwai

Juliette Fay is the bestselling author of seven novels, including THE HALF OF IT, CATCH US WHEN WE FALL, CITY OF FLICKERING LIGHT and THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS, a USA Today bestseller and Costco Pennie’s Book Club Pick. Previous novels include THE SHORTEST WAY HOME, one of Library Journal’s Top 5 Best Books of 2012: Women’s Fiction; DEEP DOWN TRUE, short-listed for the 2011Women’s Fiction award by the American Library Association; and SHELTER ME, a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award “Must-Read Book” and an Indie Next pick.

Juliette is a graduate of Boston College and Harvard University, and lives in Massachusetts with her family. Visit her at, Facebook: Juliette Fay author, Twitter: @juliettefay, and Instagram: Juliette_Fay.







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